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.


Major Settlement in the Parish of Wimbledon

Historical Forms

  • bi wimbedounyngemerke 967 BCS1196 15th
  • Wimeldon 1202 P
  • Wimmeldun' 1212 Fees
  • Wymeldon 1279 Ass 1311 Pat 1320,1330 FF
  • Wyveldon 1316 FA
  • Wymmylton 1513 FF
  • Wymendon, Wimedon 13th StThomas
  • Wimbeldon(a) 1211 RBE 1219 Bracton 1225 Ass 1235 Ass 1242 Fees
  • Wymbeldon(a) 1229,1244 FF 1255,1279 Ass 1280 Cl 1294 Ass
  • Wymbildon 1255 Ass
  • Wimbildon 1279 Ass
  • Wymbeldon juxta Wendlesworth 1303 Ass
  • Wymbelton 1348 FF
  • Wimbleton 1559 WimbCt 1675 Ogilby


The forms are too late for any certainty. The above series suggests 'Winebeald 's dun,' with the omission of genitival s found occasionally in place-names (cf. PN D 408), or Winebealdingdun , with loss of connective ing . The first phrase refers to the mearc or boundary of the Winebeald (ing )duningas , i.e. 'men of Wimbledon.'

A further possibility should, however, be noted. In the will of Bishop Theodred, who died c. 950 (ASWills 4), we have mention together of a Wunemannedun and Sheen (or Richmond) infra 65. Richmond and Wimbledon are adjacent, and it is difficult to think that it can only be a coincidence that the names Wunemannedun and Wimbledon resemble one another so closely.Unfortunately, the other forms for Wimbledon are none of them earlier than the 13th century, while the will of Bishop Theodred is only preserved in a 14th century register, with a good deal of corruption of the 10th century forms. Wunemannedun may well stand for Wynemannedune , with late OE or early ME u for y , and this may represent Wynnmanndun or even Wynemann(ing)dun , 'Wynnmann 's hill.' Wynnman is not on record, but would be a regular formation. This would regularly give early ME  Wimendoun , which by common AN dissimilation and addition of epenthetic b could become first Wimeldoun and then Wimbeldoun . The early forms of Wimbledon make it clear that it cannot be identified with the Wibbandun of ASC s. a. 568 as in Camden's Wibbandune , nunc vulgo Wimbledon .