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date: 19 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the various chronological layers of place-names in England. Starting with the comparatively few major place-names originating since the Norman Conquest, it proceeds through French names, mainly of castles or monasteries, Nordic names, found mainly in the Danelaw but branching out both to the southwest and the northwest, and Anglo-Saxon or English names, spreading out from the south-east and eventually covering the whole of the country but occurring less densely in the west where the Celts held stand and in the Danelaw and the northern counties where Vikings replaced many older names with names of Nordic origin. Celtic names survive most frequently in the westernmost counties, but names of major watercourses in the east are often of Celtic origin, as are quite frequently names of major towns which had already become significant in Roman times. A few river names seem likely to be of Old European origin.

Keywords: place-names, personal names, Domesday Book, settlement history, Normans, Vikings, Danes, Anglo-Saxons, Romans, Celts

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