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EPNS
English Place-Name Society
   
   

The Survey of English Place-Names

The Survey of English Place‑Names is the principle project of the EPNS. The survey aims to examine the origins and development of all English place-names.

The published work is arranged by historic counties: the first volume, covering Buckinghamshire, appeared in 1925; the most recent, volume 89 dealing with part of Shropshire, appeared in 2012.

survey map
The current coverage of The English Place-Name Society survey
 
 

From the beginning the Survey has received the generous support of the British Academy and, latterly, the Arts and Humanities Research Council. A current 5-year project, Perceptions of Place, is funded by the AHRC and will see the publication of further volumes on parts of Shropshire, Durham, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire and Kent.

Director: Professor Richard Coates (University of the West of England)

Deputy Director: Dr David Parsons (Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies, University of Wales)

The Survey is the principal research project of the English Place‑Name Society.

Current County Editors of the Survey of English Place-Names

Work to complete the Survey of English Place-Names is currently being undertaken by the respective county editors:

Cornwall: Dr Oliver Padel

Dorset: Dr David Mills

Hampshire: Professor Richard Coates

Herefordshire: Mr John Freeman

Kent: Dr Paul Cullen

Lancashire: Professor John Insley

Leicestershire: Professor Barrie Cox

Shropshire has an editorial team, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council: Dr John Baker, Mrs Sarah Beach, Dr Jayne Carroll, Dr Paul Cavill, Dr David Parsons, and Ms Helen Watt.

Norfolk: Partly published.

Suffolk: Partly published.

Somerset: Unpublished.

In addition, Professor Diana Whaley has supervision of the collection for Northumberland, while Professor John Insley is overseeing the publication of Lincolnshire material collected by the late Professor Cameron. A team of the existing editors is similarly overseeing publication of the late Victor Watts’s work on Durham. 

 

Coverage and Scope of the Survey

Before the Second World War, the Survey was largely limited to ‘major’ place-names, the names of towns, villages, larger rivers, forests, etc. From the 1950s onwards rich collections of minor names, field-names and street-names have also been included. (Major names are also nowadays given a very much fuller treatment than in the early years.) This detailed material provides an excellent resource for local investigators, social, urban and agricultural historians of the medieval and early modern periods, linguists, geographers and archaeologists. The growing scale of coverage, however, has inevitably slowed down the country-wide progress of the Survey, and counties are nowadays covered by multiple volumes. This accounts for the current partial coverage of some counties.

The map above indicates the current coverage of the country.

English Place-Name Society

The University of Nottingham
Nottingham NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5919
fax: +44 (0) 115 951 5924
email: name-studies@nottingham.ac.uk