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.

Middle holme

Field in the Parish of Marsh Chapel

Historical Forms

  • Middle holme 1595 FMap
  • Midle holme 1839 TA 1663 Holywell
  • Molfanges 1314 Ch


Middle holme 15951, Midle holme 15952, 1663(self-explanatory); “two places(placeis) calledMolfanges 1314, le moldfang 1314+(this name has been noted as le Moldfanche and le Moldefang in Habrough f.ns.(b) PN L 2, 145–46, where a possible etymology isdiscussed. However, in PN L 3, xix-xx Mr Arthur Owen draws attention totwo articles by his wife(LAAS 4, 1–56 and LAAS 8, 76–84) where it is clearthat this term is linked with saltmaking, especially in Fulstow Marsh. Hefurther points out that Dr Kathleen Major in a note in RA v, 188 comments“A moldfang is apparently an alternative word for a sandpit or place wheresand could be taken, molde being glossed as sabulam in the Anglo-Saxonperiod”, attributing this interpretation to the late Sir Frank Stenton. As aresult, it is suggested that, though the exact meaning of moldefang isuncertain, it may be'a place where sand is taken'. A further instance of theappellative use of molde has been noted in a French document of 1356,AASR xxiii, 276, une mese di' bou' de terre une Saltcote en le more pur salt molde)