I. Forest Terms.

Many puzzling place-names explain themselves after a study of medieval forest documents, and of books like Turner’s Select Pleas of the Forest [31.1] or Baillie-Grohman’s Master of the Game[31.2] Amongst these is ‘Folly’ which occurs all over the country, often on sites where Roman remains have been found. Baillie-Grohman says (folio edition, p. 198):—

‘The position taken up by the shooter to await the game was called his standing or tryste, and a bower of branches was made, to shelter the occupant from sun and rain as well as to hide him from the game. Such arbours were called berceau or berceil [31.3] in old French, from the word berser (to shoot with a bow and arrow). They were also called ramiers and folies from rames or branches, and folia, leaves, with which they were made or disguised. [31.4] It would be interesting to know if any of the so-called follies that exist in different parts of England cannot trace back their name from being originally a shooting-hut built on the place of some ancient folie.’

There can be little doubt that Mr. Baillie-Grohman is correct in his opinion. When the position of the different Folly woods, Folly farms and follies is investigated, it is found that a great many of them do occur within the limits of the royal forests. It is not possible, of course, to give an exhaustive list, but two good examples are Folly farm, near Marlborough, and Foliejohn park in Windsor forest. Those who knew the Vimy Ridge will recall the ruins of the Ferme de la Folie (nicknamed the Glass house) whose {32} position on the edge of the escarpment was exactly like that of Folly farm above the Kennet valley.

The association of ‘folly’ with Roman or other ancient remains, is less easily accounted for. There can be no question of the survival of structural ruins which could have been used as a shelter; moreover the name itself implies a specially constructed bower of greenery rather than decayed masonry. I suggest two possible explanations without committing myself to an opinion on their respective merits. (1) The spots selected for the erection of ‘follies’ would naturally be small eminences, commanding a view in many directions; and similar spots would often have been chosen for habitation in earlier times. (2) The sites where ancient potsherds and other objects were known to exist might have been (wrongly) supposed by the woodman to have been the sites of former hunting folies. As these remains occurred in wild country far from existing settlements, it is quite natural that they should have been so explained by an ignorant rustic. The only quasi-permanent ‘settlement’ with which he was personally acquainted would be the hunters’ outposts, and he would explain the potsherds as relics of some bygone ‘picnic’ there. (The actual folies were doubtless erected at fixed spots, though probably made afresh each time.) That this explanation is not as far-fetched as it may seem is shown by the fact that a writer in the Wiltshire Gazette (19 August, 1920) suggested, half-seriously, that the Romano-British potsherds on an ancient (kiln?) site in Savernake forest were the ‘jam pots of Swindon trippers.’ If such an opinion is possible to-day, how much more possible would it have been in the middle ages, when the domestic pottery of the day did closely resemble that of the Romans!

The medieval folie was the equivalent of a grouse-butt or summer-house [32.1]—a light, temporary structure to serve a passing need. Folies, however, continued to be made long after they ceased to be of any practical use. When the era of park-planning came in folies of brick and stone took the place of the earlier bowers; but it should {33} be noted that the folies are all either artificial ruins or somewhat pretentious ‘summer-houses,’ and that they are generally situated on rising ground at a central point from which open rides radiate. This is well seen at the Eight walks in Savernake forest, which was laid out very early in the eighteenth century when the traditional sites of hunters’ trysts may still have been pointed out by old foresters. There can be little doubt that the star-plan of the post-Renaissance pleasure-parks was an artificial and conventionalised adaptation of an older arrangement designed to obtain a field of fire down open glades or clearings in many directions. It was not however always without meaning; and the boulevards which radiate from the Place de l’Étoile were laid out for a similar purpose, though for other game.

It is probable that many folies were simply clumps of trees planted to give natural shelter and cover in suitable spots. Here again the custom of planting trees on hilltops—a very natural one—certainly continued after the original practical purpose was forgotten; and it is now difficult to say by mere inspection in a given case, how old the name is. Probably on most sites where a clump now exists (such as Faringdon folly in Berks) the name ‘folly’ is not older than the trees it describes. The oldest ‘follies’ are probably those where no clumps of trees exist and no visible remains can now be detected.

King’s Standing. Closely connected in origin with ‘folly’ is the word ‘standing’ which, generally in the form ‘King’s standing,’ is of frequent occurrence on the map. It is the English equivalent of the Norman-French hunting word establie (Latin, stabilia or stabulata) from which the alternative form ‘stable’ is derived. The custom from which it originated appears to have become modified in medieval times, and thus there is introduced a certain ambiguity in its exact meaning. First of all it was the deer who were made to ‘stand,’ i.e., were brought to bay by being stabled or driven ‘from all quarters to the centre of a gradually contracted circle where they were compelled to stand’ (Ellis, Domesday, i. f. 56b and f. 252, quoted by Baillie-Grohman, op. cit. p. 197). At a later stage it was the beaters who ‘stood,’ i.e., they were posted with hounds at stations ‘round the quarter of the forest to be {34} driven or hunted’; and if the game attempted to break out of the ring they slipped their hounds. Meanwhile within the ring other huntsmen and hounds drove the deer to the place where the king stood awaiting it in his folie. The place where the king stood was called his standing.’

The obligation to provide men to act as stationary beaters for the king when he hunted ‘at the stable’ was one of the many forms of feudal service which it was desirable to evade. The abbot of Eynsham obtained exemption from this service in a.d. 1103–1107. [34.1] It was one of the recognised ways of hunting the deer and was also called ‘tryst.’ [34.2] Alauntes, a kind of super-hound, ‘byn good for the batying of the bore and huntyng of the Wilde boore whedir it be with greihounds at trustre or with rennyng houndes at abbay withinne the Coverte’ [34.3]; ‘they could well kylle a dere bothe at the stalke and at the trest.’ [34.4] Persons were discouraged in the usual feudal manner from organizing private trysts. Manwood tells us (p. 193) that stable-stand was one of the four ‘manners in which if a man were found, in the forest, he could be arrested as a poacher or trespasser … stable-stand is where one is found at his standing ready to shoot at any deer, or standing close by a tree with greyhounds in his leash ready to let slip’ (Baillie-Grohman, op. cit. p. 198). The forest pleas are full of references to these illicit stabilia, e.g., stabilie facte inter forinsecos boscos et forestam (Savernake. a.d. 1362); apud Corselegh, extra forestam de Selwode (a.d. 1368). [34.5] At the place where the king took up his stand, artificial platforms were erected; one may be pretty sure that these were often the same which were also described as folies. ‘Such stands’ says Baillie-Grohman (pp. 197–8) ‘were raised platforms in some drive or on some boundary of the forest, sometimes erected between the branches of a tree[34.6] {35} so that the sportsman could be well hidden. A good and also original woodcut of what was probably intended to represent a ‘stand’ is in the first edition of Turbervile’s ‘Arte of Venerie’ (a.d. 1575?) representing queen Elizabeth receiving her huntsman’s report. Perhaps the earliest representation of a stable-stand is that given in the miniatures which decorate the pages of the various Roy. Modus MSS. in the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris (14th and 15th centuries). The archer is on a wooden platform slightly raised above the ground and has just let fly his arrow which is sticking in the shoulder of a wild boar; the boar is standing in a pool of water; the chapter is headed ‘How to shoot beasts at the soil or wallowing pool.’ It appears that the way recommended, where wild boars were involved, was to keep off the ground.

The word ‘standing’ remained in current use as late as the seventeenth century. In Norden’s description of his plan of Langley park, Bucks, we read: ‘The lower grounds reduced to a better use for the game and more delightful (than the upper) to hunt in, by reason of the faire artificiall lawns latelie made and levelled with many convenient and pleasant standings.’ [35.1] It need hardly be said that the sites of ‘King’s standings ‘have nothing to do with the wars of Alfred or any other Saxon king!

Soils. The Master of the Game says (Baillie-Grohman, p. 30): ‘Boores and sowes goon to soyle gladly whan thei goon to hur pastures al day and whan thei come ageyn thei make sharp her tusshes and cutten agayn the trees, whan thei frooten hem and be come agayn fro the soile.’ And again (p. 81) a ‘great boar’ may be told ‘bi his walowyng in the soile.’

Many old meres still bear traces of this name. Near Boxford, Berks, is an old pond in a wood; it is formed by the ponding up of the head waters of a tiny stream against the causeway of a Roman road. It is now called Sole Pond. Close by is the waste, i.e. gravel heath of Wickham, open until a hundred years ago; and the intervening slopes were doubtless thickly wooded and full of {36} game that would resort to the pond. A number of place-names compounded of the possessive s’hole (—’s Hole) are probably corruptions of sole. The word appears to have become obsolete some time ago.

Plain. Nowadays a plain means a wide expanse of level country, like the Russian steppes. But in Middle English it meant simply open country, unobstructed by trees. This meaning is quite clearly brought out by the Master of the Game, as the following quotations will show: ‘Zif thei renne in Covert the houndes shal sent hem bettir than zif thei renne in playn contre, or in the way, for in the Coverte thei touchen hure bodies agayn the twigges or leeves for the stronge contre, and whan thei rennen in the playne contre or in the feeldes thei touch noon but with the foot’ (p. 12). ‘In the woodes may thei (harts) not so oft slee eche othere as thei done in the playne contre’ (p. 15). The boar ‘is ful sore adrad to take the playne contre and leve the forest’ (p. 29). ‘How an hunter shuld goo in quest bytwyne ye playnes and the woode’ (heading of chapter xxviii. p. 87, illustrated).

The most familiar instance of this word is Salisbury plain, which was so called because it was a large, open region of turf-covered downs—one of the largest open regions in southern England. It is not, and never has been level; the word ‘plain’ has changed its meaning since it was first applied, quite correctly, to this part of Wiltshire.

The flat gravel heaths of the New Forest—Setley plain, Bratley plain, etc., happen also to be flat; but it was because they were open and clear of the trees which cover the neighbouring lowlands and valleys that they were so-called. Part of Braydon forest in North Wilts was similarly called Lydiard plain.

Cockrode. This word, sometimes in the forms ‘cock-ride,’ ‘cockroad,’ or even ‘coachroad,’ is quite common in forest country. In Arch. Journ. v, 119 (quoted in The History of Bitton, by H. T. Ellacombe, 1881, p. 212) it is explained as meaning ‘a passage or opening out in a wood for the more convenient catching of woodcock by a net placed (as represented in an illustration) across the opening.’ Spelt ‘cocrode’ it occurs in pre-Conquest boundaries of {37} lands. [37.1] There seems no doubt that ‘rode’ was also used by itself as equivalent to the modern ‘ride’ or even ‘road,’ though philologists will not allow the possibility of the latter.

A closely similar meaning seems to have been attached to the word ‘trench’ (more common in its Latinized form tranchia or trenchea). In the perambulations of Selwood of a.d. 1622 there is mentioned a ‘trench which leadeth to Hunter’s Way,’ [37.2] per trencheam montis in the earlier perambulations. From these passages it is evident that ‘trench’ meant something that could be followed and used as a boundary. Ducange’s definitions do not explain this use of the word. S.v. Trenchia he says: ‘Instrumentum ferreum, quo terra proscinditur, ligo’ (= a mattock or hoe); and he derives it from trancheia or tranchia meaning (1) fossa (= French, tranchée), (2) jus scindendi lignum mortuum seu aridum. Probably trenchia meant originally a ‘cut’ and was applied to clearings cut in the undergrowth. From this the sense shifted to a cut in the ground, i.e. a trench in the modern sense.

Deer-leaps. In the form ‘lipyate’ or some variant, this word is very common as a place-name to-day. It described originally the low places left in the park-pale by which deer were allowed to enter the park from outside. The privilege of having deer-leaps was granted only by the king, the sole disposer of all wild life. The construction of illicit deer-leaps (saltatoria) is frequently reported by the forest officers in the pleas of the forest. It was a cheap way of replenishing the stock in a private park at the king’s expense; and it was to make it as difficult as possible thus to entrap the deer that every park had to be surrounded with a ditch and pale or quickset hedge (fossa et haia, mortua seu viva). Unscrupulous land-owners sometimes deliberately encouraged the deer to leap in by making a temporary gap or deer-leap in the park-pales, and scattering corn on the inner, or park, side.

Professor Mawer suggests that a similar origin accounts for the fairly numerous places called ‘Hindlip.’


II. Names Associated with Pre-Saxon Sites.

The Saxons, like their modern continental descendants, were careful, unimaginative people who liked to call things by their right names. Fortified places were called burh, from the oblique case of which (byrig) is derived the modern termination ‘bury’ or ‘borough.’ They did not, however, distinguish between obsolete and still used fortifications and they gave the name burh to their own walled towns, like Peterborough, and to pre-Roman camps such as Barbary (Beran-byrig), Norsbury (Naesanbyrig) and Woolbury (Welna-bryig). Barrows were called beorh, from which the word ‘barrow’ and its colloquial variant ‘burrow’ are both derived (e.g. Melan beorh, Hants, is now called Millbarrow). Sometimes, [38.1] and especially in Gloucestershire, the termination -borough in a modern name represents the older word beorh and not burh, as in Ganborough (a long barrow near Stow-on-theWold); and similarly -bury may be derived from beorh. But normally the evolution is from byrig to bury or borough, and from beorh to barrow or burrow.

When they arrived here in the fifth century the Saxons found the country covered with the works of the Romans and the Romanised inhabitants. For Roman roads they kept a special word straet which meant a made road. Roman villas they called stan ceasta [38.2]—‘stone castle.’ For Roman or native British objects in general they used the word wealh [38.3] which came to mean very much what we mean by ‘native,’ that is to say, the work of the people of the {39} country, as opposed to the works of ourselves, the invaders. It is probable that the majority of place-names beginning with Wal- originate in this way, though one must, of course, investigate the earliest forms in each case before dogmatising. Some of them may be derived from Old English weall, a wall.

I have been much struck by the constant association of Wicks and Wickhams with Roman remains. I submit that Wick (Old English, wic) is, in Wessex at any rate, derived from the Latin vicus. The suggestion has, of course, been made before, but I do not think that the abundant archaeological evidence in support of the explanation has been examined thoroughly or at any rate given sufficient consideration. That wick was once used in a generic sense is proved by a curious group of hamlets in central Wiltshire—Heddington Wick, Keevil Wick, Potterne Wick; compare also Bathwick in Somerset. Note that in each case, close to the hamlets lie the places whose ‘wicks’ they are. It is curiously suggestive of the Latin meaning of vicus—a suburb. Probably the true explanation is that the Saxons took over the Latin vicus, altering it to wic without changing its connotation. They would have found many places called vicus by the natives, and this will account for the presence of Romano-British remains at so many places whose names are compounded with wick; and they probably added largely to the number by transferring the term by analogy to newly founded ‘outlying’ settlements of their own.

Bitham. I cannot offer any explanation of this word. In only one case do I know of an Old English form (Bitham pond in Savernake forest, Old English bydan ham). It is certainly associated in many of the instances I have collected with Roman roads and sites. I mention it merely in the hope that some one may be able to suggest a solution. The following is the list of instances observed:—

1.  Berks: O.S. 6″ map, sheet 41 N.E. Bitham lane, the only ridgeway from Inkpen, Berks, to Shalbourne, Wilts, past Sadler’s Farm and Prosperous farm.

2.  Berks, 20 N.E. Bitham road and Bitham farm, East Lockinge, Berks.

3.  Wilts, 29 NW. By Ram farm, Ogbourne St. George, on the Roman road from Mildenhall to Nythe farm.

{40} 4.  Wilts, 36 NE. Bitham pond in Savernake forest; the pond is probably very ancient, perhaps of Roman age, and is in the middle of a Roman site.

5.  Wilts, 38 SE. Bitham brook, forming the boundary between the parishes of North Bradley and Heywood. This stream was called bereburne in A.D. 968; Birch, Cart. Sax. no. 1215.

6.  Wilts, 45 NE. Bitham wood, Erlestoke, on spur of chalk escarpment at the head of a combe.

7.  Wilts, 64 SW. Bitham lake, at Fonthill abbey, Fonthill Giffard.

8.  Somerset, 12 NW. Bitham’s wood, Dundry.

9.  Somerset, 50 NE. Bitham lane, the Roman road from Street to Dunball, at the mouth of the Parrett.

III. General.

Cold Harbour. Much that has been written (particularly recently) about this name would have been better left unsaid. We need not, I believe, go beyond the words themselves to find their true meaning. As late as the time of Shakespeare ‘cold’ meant ‘poor, second-rate, inhospitable,’ a meaning which survives in the phrases ‘cold comfort’ and a ‘cool reception.’ ‘Harbour’ meant simply ‘shelter’—for men, beasts or ships. To ‘harbour a hart’ meant to track him to his lair. ‘Cold Harbour’ meant therefore a poor, inhospitable shelter, the opposite of a place where there was ‘good accommodation for travellers.’ That is why ‘cold harbours’ occur just outside nearly every medieval town—Oxford, Winchester, Newbury, Warminster, Glastonbury, Salisbury, Wimborne, Bridport, etc. The traveller who arrived too late to find accommodation in the town had to spend the night in discomfort outside it.

There were other ‘cold’ places beside ‘harbours,’ nor were all harbours cold. Perhaps the place which illustrates the meaning of ‘cold’ best is Cold Kitchen hill in Wiltshire. Here on the top of a bleak, wind-swept hill are found innumerable relics of pottery, bronze and iron, in a mound of intensely black earth due to organic remains and suggestive of (but not necessarily connected with) the ashes of cooking fires. The descriptive ‘Cold Kitchen’ {41} means simply a cooking-place where the fire has been allowed to go out and the ashes grow cold. From this it is an easy transition, and one demanded by the sense, to ‘deserted,’ i.e., abandoned by men. Another name ‘Cold park’ in Hampshire probably refers to a park without a house in it, or one which once contained a house, that later on, was abandoned and allowed to fall into ruins.

Of the harbours which were not cold I have come across the following: Dark Harbour, between North Cheriton and Stowell, three miles south-west of Wincanton, Somerset; Low Harbour between Ouseburn and Tollerton, Yorks; King’s Arbour, Harlington, Middlesex (Faden’s Map, 1796); Robin Hood’s Arbour, a square camp near Maidenhead thicket, Berks [41.1]; Oram’s Arbour. [41.2] Without minute research in each instance, one could not say whether there is any feature (such as an earthwork) common to all these sites. If such should be eventually discovered, it will throw much light on the precise intention of the word ‘harbour’ or ‘arbour’ in medieval times.

Moot or Mote. This word is fairly common as a field-name, and so far, in every case where I have come across it, ancient earth-works are to be found. In nearly every case it has referred to an ancient moated homestead site. It was from seeing this word in the tithe schedules that I subsequently discovered in fields thus named at East Knoyle, Bromham and Purton in Wilts, the remains of hitherto unknown moated homesteads. So invariable is the association that it may be regarded as certain that wherever (at any rate in the south of England) a field bears this name, a moated homestead or other earthwork is, to be found. Occasionally the entrenchments of a prehistoric camp are called ‘the moots,’ as at Chisbury in Wiltshire.

{42} Suspicious names. After a time one gets to know the normal type of field-name in a district—Cow leaze, Calves close, Home ground, Hundred acres, Conygar (rabbit warren) Dry mead, Pond close, etc., and to spot at once suspicious variants. I have on my list as worth examination on the spot names like ‘the Wilderness.’ This and others into which the word ‘wild’ enters, seem to denote land which has reverted to primitive conditions, and which therefore may contain evidence of ancient habitation. When examining the country near Botley, a wood called on the six-inch map (Hants 66 SE.) ‘Maid’s Garden’ caught my eye. On visiting it I found a hitherto undiscovered moated homestead site. It is the peculiar individuality of such names that is striking and unusual; one cannot yet apply any, general laws for guidance, and further experience is necessary.

Egypt. I cannot explain this name, and the readers of Notes and Queries could not do more than provide me with one additional instance. I have never found any secondary associations with it of archaeological interest; but have collected the sites so-called in the counties of Berks, Bucks, Cumberland, Dorset, Hants, Herefordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Pembroke, Sussex and Wilts; it also occurs at Angy, 21 kilometres south-east of Beauvais in France. Does it refer to favourite camping grounds of gipsies?

Port and Portways. In Old English port meant a town. It is so used to describe Northampton in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (a.d. 1010). [42.1] Probably it meant a walled town, since ‘port’ occurs as an explanatory gloss on the castellum of Ephesus. Outside nearly every such town was a ‘port-field’ (e.g., east of Chichester, northwest of Cricklade, Wilts.; Port meadow, south-west of Oxford and outside the towns of Marlborough and Hereford), and a ‘port-wood’ (e.g. Portswood outside Southampton). At Chepstow the town wall is still called Port wall throughout its whole course; and so is the Roman wall surrounding Caerwent. Ducange defines ‘port’ as ‘conclusus locus, quo importantur merces et inde exportantur. Est et statio conclusa et munita.’ Port-{43}geat meant the town gate; port-cwen meant a harlot; port-gerefe meant the town reeve, one of whose duties was ‘to witness all transactions by bargain and sale effected within the port.’ Port-mann was a citizen; and port-weall was the town wall.

Portway meant therefore the road leading to the port or town. It had no connexion with harbours. Portways are quite common and occur in the following places: at Street and also between Langport and Curry Rivel, Somerset; in Hurstbourne Tarrant, Hants (Award map of 1821); in Winslow, Bucks (Seebohm, English Village Community, 1890, pp. 24–26); in Batcombe, north of Bruton, Somerset; in Pyrton, Bucks; and in the Eynsham Chartulary, Vol. ii. (1908) p. 121. The old road from Banbury to Oxford is still called Port way. The Port way at Wantage in Berks refers to the road leading to the port or walled Saxon burh of Wallingford.

Herepath and Street. [43.1] All over the country are found place-names derived ultimately from the Old English herepath, which meant literally ‘war-path.’ (Some of them are derived from the less common alternative forms here-street and here-weg.) Examples: Harepath farm, Burbage, Wilts; Harepath (road and farm) near Bishop’s Cannings, Wilts; Hare street, Bremhill, Wilts; Hare-street lane, Oldbury-on-Severn, Gloucestershire; the Harroway between Weyhill and Whitchurch, Hants; Harroway [field name in three separate parishes, Highclere and Andover, Hants, and Shalbourne, Wilts (in the last it refers to the old Salisbury-Hungerford-Oxford road)]; Herwega, the old name (a.d. 1132) of Nouvelle-Église, Calais, later form Harraway (Archaeologia, liii, 353); Hare lane, Hurstbourne Priors and St. Mary Bourne (Tithe map, 1841, no. 977); Hare lane, 2½ miles south-east of Cranborne, Dorset. The word ‘harrow,’ a common element of place-names, may sometimes be derived from ‘here,’ but the example of Harrow-on-the-Hill (aet Hearge, a.d. 825, B. 384, original charter) shows the necessity of ascertaining the older forms in each case before generalising.

It is often stated that the word herepath was applied by the Saxons to roads of Roman construction. That {44} may have happened sometimes, but it was exceptional. Made roads, as opposed to tracks, were called street from the Latin strata. On this point the evidence of the Saxon land-boundaries is quite conclusive.

An interesting side-light is thrown on the history of England in the second half of the first millennium by the word herepath. It was a period of rampant militarism, and the country was the play-ground of ever restless armed bands. Our modern point of view which regards war as an episode, an unnatural exception to the rule of peace, was completely reversed. War was normal, and the important highways of the country were just the army-roads put there by Providence for the convenience of military manoeuvres. They connected important towns, it is true, but every town was a fortress and every citizen a soldier. When not at war with the Danes, their cousins, they fought each other; one cannot help feeling that they rather enjoyed doing so, and that they would be doing so still had not a measure of salutary control been introduced from abroad by a non-Teutonic aristocracy.

Toot, scout, and dead-man. Another sign of the activities of bands of raiders is the abundance of outposts or observation-posts where persons were stationed to give warning of their approach. Mr. J. G. Wood, F.S.A., was the first to draw attention to the fact that the numerous ‘toots’ and ‘toot-hills’ were simply places where watch was kept. [44.1] Apropos of Tuttyhill at St. Pierre Pille he says ‘“Tuttyhill” is one of the numerous forms in which Tothill, or the Saxon “totynhylle” appears. These all indicate watching-stations; usually in the form of a tumulus or artificial mound; and are to be found at river crossings, at passes over hills, and in other situations connected with ancient roads, and particularly Roman roads. Immediately east of Chepstow there is a “Tutshill” where a watching-mound, afterwards surmounted by a medieval tower, guarded the Roman crossing of the Wye. At Lydney on the same line of road is a Tuthill; near Penterry, at the back of the Wyndcliff is a “Tout” by the side of the Roman road from the same Wye crossing to Trellech and Monmouth.’ Mr. Wood refers to his remarks {45} in Proceedings Soc. Antiq. xxiv, pp. 144 sqq, on Tothill Fields at Westminster, in connexion with the crossing of the Thames by Watling street.

To this explanation I can add nothing but a few instances which bear it out. At Oldbury-on-Severn is a camp called ‘the Toots.’ Near Rownhams, between Southampton and Romsey, is a hill-top camp on a hill called Toot hill. It is in a wood called Telegraph wood, which shows that the spot was selected as a signal station at the time of the Napoleonic wars—a purpose for which it is admirably suited by nature. In Gloucestershire Selsley Toots, two miles south-west of Stroud, is a bisected long barrow on a hill 689 feet high, commanding a view over the vale of Gloucester and the forest of Dean.

Apropos of ‘scouts’ and Scotland as a place-name, Mr. Wood writes, speaking of the Herefordshire example, as follows: ‘Scotland occurs in all the southern counties of. England and in Pembrokeshire and Cardigan, generally near a Beacon or a Deadman or a Tot, or such like. It is the Scout’s land. This particular place is on the border of Mercia as extended in a.d. 940 to the Dore.

A possible confirmation of this explanation occurs in Wiltshire. In the middle of the remarkable bend in the Roman road from Marlborough to Winchester, there stands a lonely Inn called Scot’s Poor. It was so called in the days of Sir Richard Colt Hoare, but at that time the down on which it lies was called Totterdown. The name Totterdown is found on the old edition of the one-inch Ordnance Survey map (1807–8) and on old estate maps. ‘Scot’s’ is, I submit, a corruption of ‘Scout’s,’ but I can offer no explanation of ‘Poor.’ The spot is an ideal observation-post, being 760 feet above ordnance datum, and commanding an extensive view in many directions; and it fulfils one of Mr. Wood’s conditions by being upon an important Roman road. In the thirteenth century it was called ‘Strete gate,’ the ‘strete’ being, of course, Chute causeway. Many other old roads meet at a point here, one of them (called White way) being specially mentioned in the same thirteenth-century document. An ancient dyke traverses the site from north-east to south-west. Scot’s Poor is one of these nodal points, so important in the primitive past when upland life pre-{46}dominated, and so pleasingly desolate now that civilisation has migrated to the lower regions.

Clapgate. The prefix ‘clap’ is a very common one. When compounded with ‘-gate’ it means ‘gate on to a waste or common—which the animals going to the common can push open but which shuts automatically so that they cannot get out.’ [46.1] This name occurs on the six-inch Ordnance Map of Gloucestershire, sheet 46, S.E. in the form Clapyates, but has been altered, through the misplaced ingenuity of some amateur philologist with Welsh sympathies, to Clap-y-ates, a name which has no meaning in Welsh or any other language. There is a Clapgate between Litchfield and Whitchurch, Hants.

Miscellaneous. Amongst names I note as likely to lead to new discoveries (in the field or study) are the following: all ‘castles’ (Rat’s Castle, Owl’s Castle, Castle field); all sites called after chapmen, blind men, monks, beggars, shepherds, old wives, hangmen, kings, Adam, Caesar, Oliver, Michael, Scot and Roland; all ‘cold’ sites; all names compounded with ‘salt’; all tumps (which in Gloucestershire and the west always refer to barrows, sometimes now destroyed); all names ending in ‘-bury.’

The above notes do not pretend to deal completely even with the aspects selected; nor are the instances cited exhaustive. [46.2]

Footnotes: page number + note number. Moved to here September 2015.

[31.1]Selden Soc., London.
[31.2]London, folio, 1904; octavo (abridged).
[31.3]A spot called ‘le Bers’ is mentione in the pleas of Savernake forest, a.d. 1362
[31.4]Reference given to Histoire de la Chasse p r le baron Dunoyer de Noirmont (Paris, 1867) vol. iii. p. 354.
[32.1]A structure called King Harry’s building is marked on an old map of Savernake forest (1786) at the Savernake estate office. It stood on the brow of the hill above Wolfhall, and was doubtless the site of a folie.
[34.1]Eng. Hist. Rev. xxxiv. no. 135 (July, 1919). Writ addressed to William, sheriff of Oxford and the foresters of Oxfordshire, acquitting the abbot of Eynsham and his men of Eynsham of the service of standing in the forest to drive the deer (ad stabilitatem) at such time as the royal household is lodging there.
[34.2]Et sunt quieti de … heved peny et bucstall et tristres.’ Chart. Edw. III, Dugdale, Monasticon, ii. 827.
[34.3]The Master of the Game, p. 65.
[34.4]Malory, Morte Darthur, (a.d. 1470–1485) quoted in N.E.D., s.v. Trist.
[34.5]Le Neve, MS. Index to Forest Proceedings, P.R.O. Vol. 40, pp. 30, 25.
[34.6]Italics mine.
[35.1]J. Norden, Description of the Honor of Windsor, a.d. 1607. B.M. MS. Hart. 3749, f. 18.
[37.1]e.g., Birch. Cart. Sax. iii, no. 969, Wootton (unidentified)
[37.2]Copied by Canon Jackson from a MS. at Longleat and preserved amongst his notes in the Society of Antiquaries’ library at Burlington House.
[38.1]Professor Mawer comments: ‘Your “sometimes” is much too cautious. I have just been looking through my material for certain counties on this very point. In Beds and Bucks borough always goes back to berg in Domesday. In Devonshire, seven out of nine bergs become borough but there are also eleven genuine boroughs from burh. Dorset has five false boroughs, no genuine ones. Gloucestershire has three besides those you mention and no genuine ones. Her one berg has become bury. In Hampshire there are no genuine boroughs. In Herefordshire there are five bergs, three have become bury and one borough: no genuine borough. That is as far as I have got at present. I do not of course pretend that my figures are exhaustive, but they are drawn from a fairly wide field of early forms. Genuine boroughs belong, I believe, to the midlands and north alone. I was first aroused to look into this matter by a very interesting letter from Mr. Gurney of Egginton near Leighton Buzzard, who had noted the point in a reference to Beds and Bucks.’
[38.2]This explanation is suggested by Dr. G. Beardoe Grundy, with whom I fully agree. It is remarkably confirmed by the Anglo-Saxon bounds of Ham, Wilts, where, in the very field in which Dr. Grundy placed ‘stan ceasta’ I had myself already been told locally, unknown to Dr. Grundy, of the discovery of the foundations of buildings.
[38.3]For a fuller discussion of wealh see my remarks in The Antiquary for Sept. 1915; also McClure, British Place-Names in their historical setting, p. 538.
[41.1]V.C.H. Berks, i, 204; Berks, Bucks and Oxon. Journ. Oct. 1901, p. 95.
[41.2]This is outside the west gate of Winchester, close to the work-house. On a plan of Winchester, dated 1750, it is called simply The Arbour’; but there are two most interesting facts added. One is the information that the Arbour is the ‘place where the Freeholders meet to choose their Representatives in Parliament, for the County of Southampton.’ The other is the record of a hitherto unknown entrenchment called ‘The City Ditch,’ bounding the Arbour on the west. (The fragment in existence in 1750 is seen to have been about 400 yards in length, and to follow the course now taken by Clifton road between the Stockbridge and Romsey roads, along the west side of the workhouse grounds.) The ditch is a quarter of a mile from the west gate; and although it formed the boundary of the City liberty in 1750, it is probably far older. Can it be the remains of a fortified settlement of pre-Roman date—the original Venta of the Belgæ?
[42.1]Most of the information which follows is derived from Bosworth and Toller’s Dictionary.
[43.1]See ‘The Evidence of Saxon Land Charters on the Ancient Road-system of Britain,’ by G. B. Grundy, M.A., D.Litt., Arch. Journ. vol. lxxix, 79–105.
[44.1]The Manor and Mansion of Moyne’s Court, Monmouthshire; Newport, Monmouth, 1914, p. 98.
[46.1]Mr. Wood’s MS. notes.
[46.2]Some of the items will be dealt with fully by the writer in a chapter on ‘Place-names and Archaeology’ appearing shortly in the introductory volume of the Place-name Society.