The Seven Acres

While it may seem like a pattern is developing already with the papers I am posting, the similarity of the titles is little more than coincidental. This short note was more or less completed as far back as the start of the year but took five months to appear in print, in the Surrey Archaeological Society Bulletin 427 (June 2011), 3-5. I have posted a pdf of the submitted text here originally because the patchy reproduction of italicised words and certain Old English characters in the published article means that readers might wish to see the text as it was written originally.

The seven acres May 2011

The piece differs from the previous essay insomuch as the name in question is more likely to be a quantitative appellation than “seven ditches”, which then raises the different but no less interesting question which the piece is mostly concerned with answering. For both this and the earlier “seven ditches” analysis I must acknowledge a debt to Keith Briggs, no relation but a very skilled analyst of place-names (among many other strings to his bow). His research leading up to and beyond the publication of a 2007 article on names of the “Seven Wells” type which got me to re-evaluate the significance of the early recorded instances (almost) on my doorstep in Surrey, and may yet tip me over into getting to the bottom of the remarkable definition of Penge as “seven miles and seven furlongs and seven feet in circumference” found at the end of Sawyer 645, supposedly of the year 957. We shall see.

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