Roman Terms: 50BC - 410 AD Caster: Fort; Camp; Later town Cester: Fort; Camp; Later town Chester: Fort; Camp; Later town Fos (s): Ditch Port: Harbour; Gate Street: Paved way Celtic Terms: 800BC - 400 AD Aber: River mouth or ford Afon: River Allt: Hillside Avon; Esk; Eye; Dee: River Bedd: Grave Bre-; Drum; Don: Hill Caer: Fortress Capel: Chapel Carnedd: Cairn Castell: Castle Coed: Wood Cwm: Valley Dinas: City Glan: River Bank Hamps: Dry stream in Summer Llan: Church Llyn: Lake Mawr: Big Mir: Sea Mynydd: Mountain Pant: Hollow Pen; Bryn: Hill; Head Plas: Palace Pont; Bont: Bridge Porth: Harbour Tre: Hamlet; Village; Town Treath: Beach Ynys: Island Saxon Terms: 350AD - 1000AD Bourne: Stream Burn: Stream Burg: Large village Croft: Small enclosure Cot: Small hut Delph: Ditch, dyke or stream Den(n): Pig pasture Eg; Ey; Ea; Eig: Island Fall: Area cleared of trees Fen: Fen Field: Field Ham: Village Hurst: Clearing Ing: People Lake: Lake Ley; Lea: Clearing Mere: Pool Moor: Moor Moss: Swamp Riding; Rod: Cleared land Stead: place Stoc: Summer pasture Stoke: 'Daughter' settlement Stow: Holy Place Ton; Tun: House; Farm Weald; Wold; High Woodland Wic; Wike: Farm; Group of huts Wood: Wood Worth: Fenced land Worthy: Enclosed land Viking Terms: 750AD - 1100AD Akr: Acre Beck: Stream Booth: Summer pasture By: Farm; Village Ey: Island Fell; How: Hill or mound Fiord: Fiord Fiskr: Fish Gardr: Yard; landing place Garth: Enclosure Gate: Road Geit: Goat Gill: Ravine or valley Holm(r): Island Hus: House Ings: Marsh; meadow Kald: Cold Kelda: Spring, stream Kirk: Church Laithe: Barn Lin: Flax Lund: Grove Melr: Sandbank Orme: Serpent Pollr: Pool Skar: Cleft Sker: Rock Slack: Stream in a valley Stakkr: Rock in the sea Stan: Stone Stokkr: Sound Tarn: Lake Thorp: Daughter settlement Thwaite: Forest clearing; meadow Toft: Homestead Wath: Ford Wray: Remote place


Towns such as Lancaster, named by the Romans after their camp over the River Lune and Chester, which was the site of Deva, a Roman legionary fortress and what remains include the largest stone-built military Roman amphitheatre to have been discovered in Britain, are typical of places named in Roman times.


Aberaeron, Aberystwyth and Aberdeen are typical of towns named after the rivers which disgorge their waters into the sea and which the towns grew around. Llandudno and Llangollen amongst many other towns expanded around the local church. Many examples of Celtic words can be seen in Scotland, Ireland and most commonly in Wales.
Aberdyfi (Aberdovey) Estuary


Stow on the Wold and Stowmarket probably developed from the local place of worship whilst Bournemouth was named from where the mouth of the Bourne stream meets the sea.


Streams in the North of England are more often named Beck and some villages have what would seem like obvious names such as Troutbeck in Cumbria. Many towns and villages in the British Isles are named after original places of worship and those which use the Viking term Kirk such as Kirkby Lonsdale, Kirkby Moorside and Kirkby Stephen all appear in the north including Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands off the Northern coast of Scotland.
Arlington Row, Awkward Hill, Bibury Stickle Tarn, Lake District Holme Moss, West Yorkshire RSPB Middleton Lakes, Warwickshire Beaumaris Castle, Anglesey
Place Name Origins
Virtually all of the place names decided on up to around the 14th Century were due to the environment of the area. For example, Doncaster would probably have originated as a Roman fort on a hill, from the Roman 'Caster' and Celtic 'Don'.