Saturday, 22 September 2018

Wargrave local history society

THE origins of place names around Berkshire were explained to members at this month’s meeting

THE origins of place names around Berkshire were explained to members at this month’s meeting on Tuesday last week.

Anthony Poulton-Smith, author of Berkshire’s Place Names, was the guest speaker.

He said the written form of most place names began with the Saxons, although the Romans had Latin spoken names before them.

Common Saxon names include Norton, Aston, Sutton and Weston, the “ton” coming from the word “tun” for settlement and the first part of the name indicating north, east, south or west.

Mr Poulton-Smith said the origins of many place names could be worked out by looking at old documents such as the Feet of Fines, Subsidy Rolls, Pipe Rolls and Anglo- Saxon Chronicles.



However, there were often gaps in the records.

The different ways of pronouncing common place names meant it was often necessary to listen to rather than read them.

Mr Poulton-Smith said Reading was named after the Redda tribe, while Wargrave meant the weir by the clearing in the forest.

Ruscombe was likely to mean the camp belonging to Rot, while Sonning was associated with the Sunna tribe.

The society’s next meeting will be on Tuesday, December 8, which is the Christmas party.

On Tuesday, January 12, Phil Davis will talk about the families and history of  Hennerton.

For more information, call Peter Delaney on 0118 940 3121 or visit www.wargravehistory.org.uk



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