Back in 1086 a manor was recorded in the Plympton Hundred as Walford or Walforda. Subsequent references appear to have it as Waliforde, Waleford (1242), Wyleford (1285), Wallesford (1346) and Walford (1428). Explaining the name as meaning “Ford of the Britons” the compilers of the Place Names of Devon (English Place Name Society Vol. VIII concluded, in the early part of the twentieth century, that the manor was now “lost”. However it would seem that there is a consistent thread leading us from the sixteenth century Walford through to the present day Wolverwood via Wallesford (1697), Wallford (1701) and Walverwood (1793).
As for the notion that the first element of the name is associated with “weahl” – Old English for strangers or Britons or Celts, it seem that a more plausible explanation is that supported by Arthur Norman in his review of local place names hence the ford associated with, or alongside, a “wael” – OE – a deep pool or deep water of a stream.