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 Inkpen

Historical Forms

  • (æt) Ingepenne c.935 ASCharters contemporary
  • Hingepene 1086 DB
  • Ingepenne 1167 P
  • Hingepenna Hy2 AddCh
  • Ingepepenn' 1242–3 Fees
  • Hingepenn' 1284 Ass
  • Yngelpenne 1235–6 Fees
  • Ingelpenne 1241 Ass
  • Ingelpenn 1252 Ch
  • Ynkepenee c.1230 S c.1280
  • Ynkepenne 1241 Ass
  • Enkepenne 1284 ib
  • Inckepene 1294 SR


v. the discussion of Ingleton YW 6242. The first el. is an unrecorded word ing 'hill, peak', which has been postulated to explain a number of p.ns., including Ingon Wa 233–4, Ingham O 96, Ingardine Sa. A derivative *ingel, or a compound of *ing and hyll , probably occurs in Ingleton and Ingleborough YW and in some forms for Inkpen and Inglewood infra 315. The earliest forms for Inkpen, however, suggest that there was a form with only ing as first el., perhaps alternating with the longer form. The name is likely to refer to the escarpment called Inkpen Hill S. of the village.

The second el. could be British penno- 'top, height, hill', but is perhaps more likely to be OE  penn2 'enclosure, fold'. There is a 14th-cent. agreement about tithes in this parish in Wherwell , which mentions land subtus la Penne and super La Penne , places called Penthornes and La Hangendepenne , and a landowner surnamed de la Penne . The parish includes part of the hill-fort called Walbury Camp, which surrounds the highest peak of the escarpment south of Inkpen, and this could have been known as 'the enclosure'.

Places in the same Parish