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.

Sturton le Steeple

Major Settlement in the Parish of Sturton le Steeple

Historical Forms

  • Estretone 1086 DB
  • Stretuna c.1190 Dane
  • Stretton(a) 1215 ClR 1459 IpmR
  • Stretton(a) in le Clay 1263 FF 1327 Banco
  • Streton in the Clay 1302 Ass
  • Overstrettone, Netherstrettone 1305 FF
  • Ouerstretton, Neyerstretton 1375,1383 BM
  • Stratton' 1166,1167,1169 P 1203,1240 FF 1245 Ch 1246 Orig 1280 Ass
  • Straton' 1200 Cur
  • Styrton 1499 Ipm
  • Styrton in le Clay 1505 FF
  • Stirton 1504–15 ECP 1512 NtIpm
  • Sturton 1513 FF
  • Sturton in le Cley 1552 Pat
  • Sturton al. Stretton 1649 Recov
  • Stourton 1546 FF
  • Sturton le Steeple 1732 Recov
  • Sturton in Ye Steeple 1746 ib
  • Sturton oth. Sturton in the Steeple 1769 ib


This name is identical with Sturton (ter L, Nb, WRY) denoting a tun on a stræt or Roman road. Here the reference is to the Roman road from York through Tadcaster, Doncaster, Bawtry, Clayworth, and North Wheatley to Sturton le Steeple, thence to the Roman station at Littleborough supra 35–6, and thence across the Trent passing Sturton by Stow (L) to Lincoln.

in le Clay from its situation in the Clay Division of the Wapentake (supra 24). Over and Nether would seem to refer to the two parts of Sturton village, one on a slight hill and the other in a depression. It has been suggested that the distinguishing addition le Steeple has reference to the twelve pinnacles on the parapet of the church (A. Hamilton Thompson, Memorials of Old Nottinghamshire 52). More probably, the reference is to the tower itself. Steeple is used in earlier English of a tall tower rather than of the spire on the top of the tower. The phrase 'in the Steeple' is a curious one but probably came into use as a parallel to the phrase 'in the Clay.' The phrase 'Sturton le Steeple ' seems to be quite a modern invention, after the fashion of those numerous names in which le is used as a loosely connective element.