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 Barkham

Historical Forms

  • (æt) Beorchamme 952 BCS895 16th
  • Beorcham 952 BCS895 c.1240
  • Bercheham 1086 DB
  • Berkeham, Berkehem 1220 Fees
  • Berkeham 1242–3 1517 DInc
  • Berkham 1220 RSO 13th
  • Bercham 1242–3 Fees
  • Berkham 1242–3 Fees
  • Bergham 1248 Fees


'Birch-tree meadow', v. beorc , hamm . There are two copies of BCS 895, one in the later version of the Abingdon Chronicle, and the other in MS C.C.C.C. cxi (p. 145). In the latter MS the charter has the heading 'ðis is þara þreora hida landboc æt beorchamme–'. In view of this, the second element can probably be identified as hamm rather than hām . Several small tributaries of the R. Loddon flow through the parish. Barkham Sx 345 is identical.

BCS 895 gives the bounds of this estate, but none of the places mentioned can be identified. On account of the directions andlang stræt to loddera stræt Grundy thought that the area described was outside the parish of Barkham, probably the part of Finchampstead north of the Devil's Highway (4), which he thought would be one of the roads referred to as a strǣt . It is much more probable, however, that the bounds describe the modern parish of Barkham. The estate referred to in the charter is one of 3 hides, and this is the hidage assigned to Barkham in DB. There are other instances of the term strǣt in Berkshire charters in contexts which make it impossible to identify the road with a known Roman one.