kent place names - m

Maidstone is literally a stone of the maidens, most likely indicating a place where they were known to gather. Its Anglo-Saxon form was Mægthan stan. Kents county town isnt the only town to take its name from an association with maids or maidens in other parts of the country we have a Maidwell, a Maidford and a Maidenhead.

East Malling and West Malling were originally (around 942) recorded as Meallingas. The name probably indicates a settlement associated with Meallas followers, from the Old English ingas family, followers. (South Malling, in East Sussex, was recorded slightly earlier, in 838.)

Manston is literally Manns town, referring to some now-unknown local figure. The root is Old English tun settlement, village, and it first shows up on record in 1254 as Manneston.

Marden may indicate a woodland pasture for mares, from the Old English mere mare and denn field, woodland pasture. It first appears on record as Maeredaen around 1100.

Margate was not recorded until 1254, in the form of Meregate. The name probably indicates a gateway to the sea, from Old English roots mere sea, water and geat gate.

Matfield is etymologically Mattas field, with roots in Old English feld field, open land. Its first recorded spelling, around 1230, is Mattefeld.

The River Medway, that dividing point between the Kentish Men and the Men of Kent, was first recorded in the eighth century as Medeuuæge. The ending of the word can be traced back to the ancient pre-English river-name Wey, though its meaning is unclear. It may be compounded here with the Old English medu mead, in some reference to the colour or sweetness of the water.

Meopham goes back to Old English ham, a village or homestead. The first element is probably a personal name, so the sense is of Meapas village. It first shows up on record in 788 as Meapaham.

Mereworth first recorded in 843 as Meranworth refers to Mæras enclosure. It comes from the Old English worth enclosure, enclosed settlement.

Mersham is another eponymic, commemorating Mærsas village. This comes from the Old English ham village, settlement. The place-name first appears on the records in 858 as Mersaham.

The derivation of Milstead is not certain, but one likely theory is that it means the middle place, from Old English middel middle and stede site, place. It is first recorded in the late eleventh century as Milstede.

There are two Minsters in Kent, one near Ramsgate and one near Sheerness. The first has by far the longer history on the records, appearing as Menstre in 694; the latter shows up with that same spelling in 1204. Both represent the Old English mynster, a monastery or large church.

Great Mongeham and Little Mongeham were first recorded in 761 as Mundelingeham. The roots are Old English ingas family, followers and ham village, homestead. The first element is a personal name, so the general sense is of the village of Mundels family.

Monkton, first recorded as Munccetun in 960, is literally a town of the monks. The roots are in Old English munuc monk and tun settlement, farmstead.

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