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Anglo-Saxon Place Names


Anglo-Saxon England became divided into Kingdoms:
  • The Angles settled in East Anglia.
  • The Saxons settled in areas of Essex (East Saxons), Sussex (South Saxons), Middlesex (Middle Saxons), and Wessex (West Saxons).
  • The Jutes settled mainly in Kent. They referred to themselves as 'the Kentings', ('the men living in Kent').
Names of some towns we have today come from the Anglo-Saxons.

Some were named after the chieftain (leader) and end with 'folk' or 'ing'. For example, the people who lived in the 'village' of Hastings were 'Haesta's people'. 

Some name endings describe what was there:
  • -ham means village (e.g. Birmingham)
  • -ford means river crossing (e.g. Stratford)
  • -ton means farm (e.g. Middleton)
  • -bury means fortified place (e.g. Banbury).
  • -ley means forest clearing (e.g. Henley)