Appendix A: Place Names and Monuments

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Ancient and Historical Monuments in the County of Gloucester Iron Age and Romano-British Monuments in the Gloucestershire Cotswolds. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1976.

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Appendix A: Place Names and Monuments

A critical examination of names on early as well as recent editions of O.S. maps and, particularly, of field-names on estate and tithe maps, enclosure awards etc., may yield information on the existence of hitherto unknown archaeological sites. Many significant names have been gathered together in The Place Names of Gloucestershire, but the coverage is by no means exhaustive. These sources of information have been utilised only sporadically in the compilation of the Inventory, but attention may be drawn to some possibilities. For example, the area containing the hill-fort at Woodmancote (North Cerney (2)) was named 'The Ditches' on an early O.S. map, yet the site escaped identification until it was seen from the air by Mr. W. A. Baker in the 1960s. The hill-fort on Burhill (Buckland (1)), also recorded on an early O.S. map as Burrell Hill, was discovered only in 1960 when Mr. L. V. Grinsell recognised the possible implication of the first element in the name (OE. burh, 'fortification'); Hinton Hill (Dyrham and Hinton (1)) was also once known as Burrill or Burrell. As the suffix 'bury', the element often appears in hillfort names, both those in use (see list, p. xxv) and former designations. The Bulwarks (Haresfield (2)) was probably known as Eastbury until comparatively recently (PNG, II, 184) and the Saxon name for the hill-fort on Nottingham Hill (Gotherington (1)), Cocca burh, survives as Cockbury at three places near by. But 'bury' is also commonly incorporated in place and field-names where no hill-fort is known (e.g. Hawkesbury and Eubury). The occurrence in the Cotswolds of natural formations which resemble artificial constructions (see p. xxx) may account for the relative frequency of 'bury' names; it has been pointed out (PNG, IV, 191) that only about a quarter of those recorded refer to actual fortifications. In the same way the later names 'castle' and 'camp', many of them probably antiquarian inventions (PNG, IV, 23), have been applied both to genuine hillforts and to supposed fortifications; the 'castle' names formerly used for Dixton Hill, Alderton and Cooper's Hill, Brockworth and the 'camp' names in Aston Blank and Tormarton are examples.

The name Chessells and its variants (OE. ceastel, 'heap of stones'), associated with the sites of six Roman settlements or buildings in the area, indicate that the remains of structures were visible there in the post-Roman period. The caestello of a Naunton charter, apparently referring to the structure at New Buildings, Upper Slaughter (1), would carry the same meaning (cf. PNG, I, 164). Since 'Chessells' names appear to have a particular significance, reference may be made to those, listed in PNG, IV, 22–3, which relate to places where Roman remains have not been identified: Westchestle at Aldsworth, Wet Chessells at Driffield (a field near the site of the building, Driffield (1)), Chestels or Chistles at Dyrham and Hinton (ST 718774) and Great and Little Chessels at Sodbury (centred ST 752823). The situation of the last named, on a brown earth subject to occasional waterlogging, but capable of drainage, is a likely one for Roman settlement.

Names derived from ceaster, often applied to Roman towns, are sometimes associated with villas, as in Frocester (Frome ceaster, 'settlement near the Frome') and Woodchester. Chesterton, S. of Cirencester, is usually taken to mean 'farmstead belonging to or near the town' (PNG, I, 64), but it might, for instance, relate to the extra-mural Roman settlement, Cirencester (3), or to the villa (1), or to the amphitheatre, as suggested by J. S. Wacher. 'Wycomb' (Whittington (2)) may come from vicus, a Roman settlement (Med. Archaeol. XI (1967), 87–104).

Dorn (Batsford (1)) probably means 'fort' or 'gate'. The name Stancombe (stony valley) often occurs in the Cotswolds; its association with two of the monuments listed below, and the record of Roman material from Stancombe Wood, Sudeley, suggests that the stoniness is not always of natural origin. The Roman villa at Frocester Court is in a field known as Big Stanborough; on this gravel soil clearly a reference to the remains of a building. On the other hand Stanborough Lane, between the parishes of Naunton and Notgrove, is believed to take its name from the nearby Neolithic long barrow (PNG, I, 176), while Stanborough Fields, containing the crop-marks of enclosures (Notgrove (1)), are presumably named from the lane. It seems probable that Roughground Farm, on which was situated the Roman settlement, Lechlade (5), was so called by reason of former unevenness of the ground resulting from the remains of structures on this otherwise flat gravel terrace.

Other local names which may point to undiscovered sites include Crockemede ('crock or pottery meadow') in Brockworth, 'The Brickbats' in Lechlade and 'Money Quarr', recorded in the vicinity of the Roman settlement on West Hill, Uley (2), (PPS, IV (1938), 193, No. 1). It is, however, uncertain if 'Coin Slade' (Quenington (3)) is to be taken literally in view of the alternative names 'Quoin Slade' and 'Cold Slad'. The survival until recently of 'Celtic' fields in Eastleach may be related to the occurrence of 'No Man's Land' as an adjacent place-name.

Roman site names Inventory No.
Abbotswood Swell (2)
Barton, The Cirencester (1)
Chessalls Kingscote (1)
Chessels, The Coln St. Aldwyns (2)
Chessels Great Rissington (1)
Chessels Lower Slaughter (1)
Chestals Dursley (1)
Chestles Farmington (2)
Clearcupboard Farmington (1)
Combend—see Stockwood
Dorn Batsford (1)
Dryhill Badgeworth (1)
Great Lemhill Lechlade (7)
Hailstone Cherington (1)
Highfold—see Ifold
Hocberry Rodmarton (1)
Ifold Painswick (2)
Leadenwell Bourton-on-the-Water (2a)
Lemhill—see Great Lemhill
Lillyhorn Bisley-with-Lypiatt (1)
Listercombe Chedworth (6)
Millhampost Stanway (1)
Roughground Farm Lechlade (5)
Stancombe Duntisbourne Rouse (4)
Stancombe Stinchcombe (1)
Stockend Harescombe (1)
Stockwood(s) Colesbourne (2)
Wadfield Sudeley (2)
Whiteshoots Hill Bourton-on-the-Water (2c)
Wycomb Whittington (2)