Kent Place names - A

Acol is first recorded as Acholt in 1270, and the name goes back to the Old English, ac for oak and holt for wood. The name thus indicates a wood of oak-trees.


Addington is etymologically the estate of Eadda or Æddi, an Old English personal name. Kents Addington was first recorded in the Domesday Book as Eddintune, and it shares its name with at least four other Addingtons across the country.


Adisham, like Addington, traces its name back to the Old English personal name Æddi, and means much the same thing. In this case, though, the associated area has survived not as a tun but a ham  both words indicating a village, homestead or estate. The name was first recorded as far back as the early seventh century, in the form of Adesham.


Aldington denotes a homestead belonging to the followers or family of Ealda. The -ing- element indicates followers or family, while the final syllable represents the Old English tun homestead, estate.


Alkham.The idea preserved in the name of Alkham is of a homestead or ham within a sheltered place, or used as some kind of sanctuary. The root is the Old English ealh, and the etymology is clearer in the towns Middle English form, Ealhham.


Allhallows was first recorded in 1285 as Ho All Hallows, and was named from the twelfth-century church of All Saints. Ho here indicates a spur of land, and is the same word as that found in St Marys Hoo.


Allington is a common place-name, and Kent has two of them. They are both derived from the Old English tun farmstead, but one, near Lenham, came to us through a thirteenth-century form Eilnothinton, and was associated with a man called Æthelnoth, whereas the second, near Maidstone, comes via eleventh-century Elentun and was connected with a man called Ælla.


Appledore is literally an apple-tree, from the single Old English word apuldore, and the town is thus a place at the apple-tree. It was first recorded back in the tenth century as Apuldre.


Ash takes its name from the tree, whose name goes back to the Old English æsc. There is more than one example in Kent alone, but the Ash near Sandwich shows its toponymy in its first recorded form, Æsce, in about 1100.


Ashford is a relatively common English name, usually denoting a ford where ash-trees grow. Ashford in Kent, however, goes back to Old English æscet rather than æsc, and thus indicates a ford near to a clump of ash-trees. It was first mentioned in the Domesday Book as Essetesford.


Ashurst, which shares its name with a village in West Sussex, derives from the Old English hyrst or wooded hill, and thus denotes a hill wooded with ash-trees. The first record of Ashurt in Kent is from around 1100, in the form of Aeischerste.


Aylesford takes its name from an Old English personal name, and literally denotes Ægels ford. Its first recorded use is from the tenth century, as Æglesforda.


Aylesham is another eponym and indicates Ægels homestead. It is not found recorded until 1367.