The three earliest recorded field-names in Puttenham parish

In January 2015, under the umbrella of Surrey Medieval Middle English Field-Names Week, I wrote three posts in quick succession that proposed etymologies for three field-names found in a charter apparently drawn up on 1st July 1332. All are apt to be located in the vicinity of Cutt Mill in Puttenham parish and – though the source document is known to me only through an artful modern facsimile – hence comprise the earliest recorded field-names currently known from the parochial area. (More details of the manuscript containing the charter text, a compendium of ‘Parochial Papers’ concerning Puttenham now held at the Surrey History Centre (SHC G51/5/67/1-2), are given in the opening paragraphs of the first of the posts listed below.) None of them are known from any later source, which makes them very tricky to pinpoint on the ground – but in turn makes them all the more intriguing!

It’s since dawned on me that the posts more naturally sit underneath the Puttenham tab. To this end, please find links to the three posts gathered together here, with the field-names in the order that they appear in the charter plus the most credible translations of each of them:

  1. Le Osthage – “the kiln/oven enclosure”
  2. le Spych – “the brushwood”
  3. Le Portuk – “the small enclosure?”

Now I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; relatively speaking, Puttenham parish is poorly documented in the medieval period, particularly at the levels of the sorts of texts that specify the names of fields and other areas of land. At the present time, I know of only three from before the year 1500 – and two of these are antiquarian transcriptions. The one original document – a 1393 indenture that names Rodsall Field (the main open field of that township) and possibly at least one other field- or place-name – will form the subject of a future piece under this tab. Still, I live in hope that there are sources (whether extant in the original or in facsimile) that attest to other field-names or minor place-names within the parish, ideally ones that have later recorded forms enabling them to be located with precision. It’s just finding them that’s the problem…