English Place-name Society

Survey of English Place-Names

A county-by-county guide to the linguistic origins of England’s place-names – a project of the English Place-Name Society, founded 1923.

Piddles Wood

Early-attested site in the Parish of Sturminster Newton

Historical Forms

  • (boscum de) Puttelesw(u)rthe 13 GlastR
  • Puttelesworth(e) e14 GlastE
  • boscis voc' Puttelesworth(e) 1337 Glast m14 Glast 1338–40
  • Putelesworth(e) e14 GlastE
  • Puttellesworth(e) 1307 ForReg 15
  • Puctelesworth' 1342 GlastF
  • Putteswurthe 13 GlastR
  • Puttekwurth' 1244 Ass
  • (bosco de) Pittelesworth' 1338–40 Glast
  • Pittelswo'the 1548 Ct
  • Puddlesworth or Puddlewood 1582 Hutch3
  • Piddles Wood 1811 OS
  • Piddle's Wd 1839 TA


Probably 'Pyttel's enclosure', from the OE  pers.n. Pyttel (Redin 143) and worð. The relatively late development of -worth to -wood (as in Wythwood Wo 359, etc) was obviously reinforced by the fact that this always was, and still is, a wood. Formally the first el. could equally well be the word pyttel 'a hawk, a mousehawk' which is the source of the pers.n. and which occurs in Do dial. as dun-piddle 'the kite or moor buzzard' (Barnes 62); in view of this possibility, the form Puttekwurth ' 1244 is particularly interesting, since it seems to contain the related word puttoc 'a kite', or the equivalent pers.n. Puttoc (Redin 153). Pittleworth Ha 187 may be directly analogous, although it has some early forms without medial -s -, cf. also Pitts worthy D 207.