kent place names - f

Farleigh denotes a woodland clearing growing with ferns. It comes from the Old English fearn fern and leah field, clearing. The first record of it appears in the ninth century, as Fearnlege, and it later split into East Farleigh and West Farleigh.

The origins of Farningham are not entirely clear. One possibility is that it came from the Old English fearn fern, -ingas dwellers and ham homestead, village. In this case the meaning would be along the lines of home of the dwellers among the ferns. The town first appeared as Ferningeham in the Domesday Book.

Old English probably included a word fæfer which was used for a smith. This is what lies behind the idea of Faversham, literally the smiths village, the other element being ham, a homestead or village. It first appears in 811 as Fefresham.

The Green of Fawkham Green is a later addition, but the first word goes back as far as the tenth century, where it appears as Fealcnaham. The ham is the Old English ham village, homestead, and the first element seems to represent a personal name, Fealcna.

Finglesham is clearly an Old English ham, a village or homestead. It was first recorded in 832 as Thenglesham, and the first element seems to be thengel prince, in which case the town would be literally the village of the prince. However, thengel may also have been used as a personal name, in which case the town would simply be another eponym, Thengels homestead. It had taken an initial F- by the time of the Domesday Book, in which it appeared as Flengvessam.

Folkestone was first recorded as far back as the late seventh century in the guise of Folcanstan. The name probably refers to the stone of Folca, Folca being a common Old English mans name. The stone probably marked a hundred meeting-place.

Fordwich seems to have started life as a trading settlement at the ford. Its final element is the Old English wic trading settlement, and it first appears as long ago as 675 as Fordeuuicum.

Frindsbury takes its name from an association with a man called something like Freond. Its last element is Old English byrig, the dative form of burh stronghold or fortified place. The etymology is a little clearer in its first recorded spelling of Freondesberiam, back in 764.

Frinsted is literally a place of protection. It comes from the Old English frithen protection and is first seen on record in the Domesday Book as Fredenestede.

Frittenden is an Old English denn or woodland pasture, in this case one associated with someone called Frith. It first appeared in the ninth century as Friththingden.

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