Berw (Borvo)

A Cymirc and Gaulish God, also known as Borvo, Borbanus, Bormanus, Bormo, Bormanicus: He who Boils

Berw or Borvo is a god known from Pourtugal, through France to Britain. He is always associated with healing waters and thermal spars and his consorts are healing goddesses. His name is interpreted as ‘He Who Boils’, pointing to the hot nature of the spring waters he is associated with.

A Gaulish god of healing springs. As Bormo he was the consort of the goddess Bormanna, whilst as Borvo his partner goddess was Damona.

He was known as Bormanus in Provence and Bormanicus in Portugal and because of his association with healing waters the Romans associated him with Apollo.

Borvo is the son of Sirona who, like Damona is a protectress of cattle.

Bourboule, a health resort and thermal spa in the Dordogne, is derived from the name of this deity. The ancient thermal spa town of Aquae Bormonis (modern Bourbon-l’Archambault (Allier)) in the Auvergne was also named after its patron deity, Bormanis.

The god’s name also survives in Cymric (Welsh) folklore as a healer, and also exists in the Cymric for ‘water cress’ berw dŵr, possibly due to the plant’s purported medicinal qualities, or due to how they grow in and near springs.