Prosopography of Anglo-Saxon England

[Image: Witness list of a royal diploma, S 497 (extract); Aelfwine]



English place-names are recorded in the counties as they existed before the 1974 local government reorganization; likewise, Scottish and Welsh place-names are given under the name and geographic extent of the counties as they existed before similar administrative changes took place in Scotland and Wales. This will facilitate reference to the various specialist publications mentioned below.

Place-names, river names and islands are listed in the form ‘Little Puddle’, ‘Great Ouse’, ‘Green Island’, ‘Isle of Man’ unless the precise location within a complex of names cannot be identified, in which case the name will be found listed in the form ‘Swell, Lower and/or Upper’, ‘Ogbourne St Andrew and/or St George’. Note that The Weald and The Wirral are listed under the definite article ‘The’.

Users need to bear the following in mind:

  • English place-names are subject to wide variation in spelling, in the use of Latin as opposed to English and in the presence or absence of hyphens in compound names
  • some place-names are of very local provenance; others (especially parish names) are often not recorded in standard gazetteers
  • some place-names occurring in Anglo-Saxon documents (especially charters) have not been definitively identified or refer to place-names that have since been lost

For specialist studies that go far beyond the scope of this database users are recommended to consult the following publications, all of which are still in progress:

The following works were consulted in the course of compiling the listings:

  • Eilert Ekwall English River Names Oxford Clarendon Press 1928
  • Eilert Ekwall The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-Names 4th ed. Oxford Clarendon Press 1960
  • Gazetteer of the British Isles 9th ed. Edinburgh John Bartholomew and Son 1943 reprinted with revisions, 1972

For a useful and accurate guide to English place-names listed according to the post-1974 English counties such as West Midlands or Hereford and Worcester see: A. D. Mills A Dictionary of English Place-Names 2nd ed. Oxford Paperback Reference Oxford and New York Oxford University Press 1998

The shire and vill place-name forms used in the PASE Domesday dataset follow the conventions used in the Alecto editions of GDB and LDB; the hundred names and 6-digit National Grid Reference data has been drawn from the Domesday Explorer ARHC Project data compiled by John Palmer, Frank and Caroline Thorn and Natasha Hodgson.