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 Leagrave

Historical Forms

  • Littegraue 1224 ClR 1227 Ass 1276 Ass
  • Littlegraue 1227 Ass 1287 Ass
  • Lihtegraue 1227 Ass
  • Leytegraue c.1250 Deed
  • Lithtegraue 1276 Ass 1286 Dunst
  • Lithegrave, Lythegrave 1276 RH 1287 Ass
  • Lytegrave 1286 Dunst 1379 Cl 1390–2 CS
  • Lyghegraue 1287 Ass
  • Lytelgraue 1287 Ass 1379 Cl
  • Lightgrave 14th GestStAlb 1461 IpmR 1499 Ipm
  • Lygrave 1504 Ipm 1610 Speed 1675 Ogilby
  • Lighgrave 1504 Ipm
  • Lyttgrave 1535 VE


It is at first sight difficult to bring the different forms of this name into coherent relationship. In particular, the forms which suggest that the first element is OE  lytel , 'little,' cannot at first be reconciled with those which point to OE  liht , leoht , 'light.'But the difficulty disappears if it may be assumed that the first element consists, not of a significant word, but of a pers. name Lihtla , derived from a stem Liht -, which is known to have been employed, though rarely, in OE. The compound Lihtweald occurs in the LVD, and Lihtwine , in the form Lictuin , is found in the 11th and 12th centuries. An original form Lihtlan grāf will account for all the forms earlier than the 16th cent. Little - in 1227 can be derived from Lihtle - by assimilation of ht to tt just as OE  Witta is best regarded as an assimilated form of Wihta . The spelling Leyte - can safely be taken as representing Leyta -, with yt for ht , from the parallel form Leohte -.The loss of l after t has many parallels. The influence of the river-name Lea , which first becomes apparent in 1504, did not finally prevail until recent times. v. graf .

Places in the same Parish

Early-attested site