Wootton Parish (Nr Abingdon) Place Names

Wootton Parish Council have collated information together to come up with a list of names and their provenance within the Parish. If you have anything to add then please email placenames@woottonabingdon-pc.gov.uk.

  • Wootton. From the 9th Century “Wudtun”, meaning Settlement in the wood (from the Saxon).
  • Boars Hill. From the 14th Century “Boreshulle” or “Boreshill”. There is a legend of an Oxford Scholar reading a book on the hill when a boar raced towards him and would have killed him if the scholar was not quick-witted enough to force the Greek Classical book in to the boars mouth.
  • Whitecross. There is a suggestion that Whitecross is named a 16th Century village constable Thomas White. Certainly, the crossroads at what is now the Honeybottom Lane/Fox Lane Junctions is named “White Cross” on the 1795 Allotment Map.
  • Lamborough Hill. The “Lam” part of the name probably comes from the Old English word for ‘lamb’ (a young sheep). The -Borough (or -Bury, -Burgh, -Brough) part usually indicate a fortified settlement. However, it’s more likely in this case it’s been transformed from the ‘berg’ element in place names meaning ‘hill’. So The literal translation is likely to be “Hill of Lambs Hill”.
  • Besselsleigh Road. Bessels was person/farmer who owned it; (note that is used to be owned by a person called Earmunds). “-Leigh” which is from Anglo-Saxon and Old English “Leah”, meaning woodland and/or a clearing made in a woodland. “The word “Leah” also gives rise to other names ending “-ley, -lay, -laugh, –lea”. So the translation would be “The Road leading to Bessels clearing in the woods”.
  • Chilswell. “Ceol’s Well”, or the “stream of Ceol”.
  • Sunningwell. The spring of the Saxon tribe “the Sunningas” or “Sunna’s people”.
  • Bayworth. The hamlet of the tribe called the “Baegas”.
  • The Jack Well [In Wootton]. Named after the “The Jack Inn” Off-license.
  • Yatscombe. Gate at the head of the little valley.
  • Foxcombe. Little valley of the foxes.
  • Brumcombe. Little Valley of the broom [a type of bush].
  • Broom Hill, Close, etc. A bush of yellow flowers.
  • Tommy’s Field/Tommy’s Heath. Area of land awarded to “Farmer Tommy” in 1795 Awards Act.
  • Bedwell’s Field/Bedwell’s Heath. Area of land awarded to “Farmer Bedwell” in 1795 Awards Act.
  • Greenaway’s Field/Greenaway’s Heath. Area of land awarded to “Farmer Greenaway” in 1795 Awards Act.
  • Jarn’s Heath/Jarn’s Field/Jarn Mound. Comes from the French for garden – Jardin.


‘Boars Hill’. Mary Bright Rix. 1942.

‘Parishes: Cumnor’, in A History of the County of Berkshire: Volume 4, ed. William Page and P H Ditchfield (London, 1924), pp. 398-405. British History Onlinehttp://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/berks/vol4/pp398-405 [accessed 28 April 2020].

The Oxfordshire Village Book. Oxfordshire Federation of Women’s Institutes.