kent place names - L

The hurst of Lamberhurst is Old English hyrst wooded hill. The first element is essentially the modern word lamb, in its Old English genitive plural form of lambra  the sense is of a wooded hill where lambs graze. It first appears on record as Lamburherste around 1100.


East Langdon and West Langdon go back to an Old English compound meaning long hill or long down, from lang long and dun hill, down. When they first show up on record, in 861, there was simply one Langandune, but by 1291 there is reference to Estlangedoun and Westlangedone.


Langley, a common English place-name, represents the Old English lang leah or long field or woodland. Kents Langley first turns up in the records in 814 as Longanleag.


No surprises with Larkfield, which indicates a field frequented by larks. The Old English roots are lawerce and feld, and its first recorded form was Lavrochesfel in the Domesday Book.


Leaveland probably meant originally Leofas land. It first shows up in the Domesday Book as Levelant.


The Leeds in Kent probably has no etymological connection with that in West Yorkshire, although its derivation is not certain. It may come from an inferred Old English stream name hlyde, meaning the loud one. It first appears as Esledes in the Domesday Book.


Leigh, like the modern lea, comes from Old English leah field, clearing. It is a common name; Kents Leigh first appears on record around 1100 as Lega.


Lenham, which gave its name to the River Len rather than vice versa, goes back to Old English ham homestead, village. It seems originally to have indicated Leanas village  Leana being a mans name. It first appears in the records in 858 as Leanaham.


Leybourne was first recorded in the tenth century as Lillanburna. Burna is the Old English word for stream, so the sense is probably of Lyllas stream


Leysdown on Sea is clearly a kind of down, or hill (from the Old English dun). The first element seems to be Old English leg, used to denote a beacon-fire. The place is first recorded around 1100 as Legesdun.


The name Linton normally indicates a place where flax is grown. Kents Linton, though, is an eponymic from the Old English tun village, town, suggesting Lillas village. Its first recorded form is Lilintuna in around 1100.


Littlebourne is literally a little (settlement) on the river, the river (Old English burna) in this case being the Little Stour. It is first found on record in 696 as Littelburne.


Littlestone-on-Sea acquired its name in the nineteenth century from a headland called Little Stone, formerly a nearby coastal feature.


Longfields name, of course, indicates a long field. Its first recorded form, Langafelda in the tenth century, shows its Old English roots of lang and feld.


Loose is etymologically a place at a pig-sty, from the Old English hlose. It is first found in the eleventh century as Hlose.


Luddesdown probably indicates Hluds hill. The down represents Old English dun down, hill. The place first appears on record in the tenth century as Hludesduna.


Lullingstone, which appears as Lolingestone in the Domesday Book, is not in fact a type of stone but a type of tun, the Old English word for farmstead or estate. The sense is of Lullings farmstead or Lullings town.


Luton is another Old English eponymic, indicating Leofas town, from tun town, estate. It first shows up on record in 1240 as Leueton.


Lydd may literally be a place at the gates. Its first recorded form of Hlidum in 774 suggests a root in the dative plural form of Old English hlid gate.


Lyddens name seems to be etymologically unrelated to that of Lydd. It comes from the Old English hleo shelter and denu valley, suggesting a sense of sheltered valley. Its first recorded form is Hleodaena from around 1100.


Lyminge first appears on record in 689 as Liminge. The town is literally a district around the River Limen. The end of the word represents Old English ge district, region, while the first is a Celtic river-name (cognate with Lympne) indicating elm river or marshy river  Limen was the old name for the East Rother.


Lympne first appears as Lemanis in the fourth century. The word is Celtic and means elm-wood place or marshy place.


Lynsted is literally a place where lime-trees grow, from the Old English lind lime-tree and stede site, place. Its first recorded form is Lindestede, from 1212.