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 theÂ written form of most place names began with the Saxons, although the Romans hadÂ Latin spoken names before them.
Common SaxonÂ names include Norton, Aston, Sutton and Weston,Â the “ton”Â coming from the word “tun”Â for settlement and the first part of the name indicating north, east, south or west.
Mr Poulton-Smith said the origins of manyÂ place names could be worked out by lookingÂ at old documents such as the Feet of Fines, Subsidy Rolls, Pipe Rolls and Anglo- Saxon Chronicles.
However, thereÂ were often gaps in the records.
The different ways of pronouncing common place names meant it was oftenÂ necessary to listen to rather than read them.
Mr Poulton-Smith saidÂ Reading was named after the Redda tribe, while Wargrave meant the weir by the clearing in the forest.
Ruscombe was likely to meanÂ the camp belonging to Rot, whileÂ Sonning was associated with the Sunna tribe.
The society’sÂ next meeting will be on Tuesday, December 8, which is the Christmas party.
OnÂ Tuesday, January 12, Phil Davis will talk about the families and history of Â Hennerton.
For more information, call Peter Delaney on 0118 940 3121 or visit www.wargravehistory.org.uk