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.

North Hinksey and South Hinksey

Major Settlement in the Parish of North and South Hinksey

Historical Forms

  • Hengestesie 821 BCS366 c.1200
  • Hengestesieg 821 c.1240 ib
  • (ad) Hengestesige c.957 c.1200 ib
  • Hengesteseia 1205–21 Os
  • Northengestes' 1241 Ass
  • Northengesteseye 1284 ib
  • Hansteseia Hy1 ClaudiusCix c.1200
  • Henstesia, Hentesia 1177 P
  • Hensteseye 1247–8 Ass
  • Hengsteseye 1224 OS
  • Hengste, Henchsteseye, Hengsteseye 1284 Ass
  • Henxtesia Superior c.1222 Frid c.1425
  • Northchenxtesey, Southchenxtesey 1316 FA
  • Henxteseya 1389 Os
  • Hengseye 1233–4 Os
  • Hengseya c.1280 ib
  • Suthhenctesey, Northenctesey 1242–3 Fees
  • Hengtesy 1275–6 RH
  • Henxeye c.1250 Os
  • Henxxe 1251–64 S c.1280
  • Hencsei c.1300 RG
  • Northenxeye, Southenxye 1327 SR
  • Henxseia 1440 Os
  • Northenxy 1509–10 ib
  • Laurencehinksey, Southinksey 1535 VE
  • (de) duabus Henesteseies c. 1180 (13th) Abingdon


There is another occurrence of this name in BCS 1230 in the bounds of Witney O 334. The second el. is īeg, ēg 'island', and the first hengest 'horse, stallion, gelding', hengest occurs in a number of p.ns. (cf., e.g., D 665), and it is often difficult to decide whether or not it is a pers.n. As such it is only on record as that of the conqueror of Kent, and the possibly identical warrior in The Fight at Finnsburg .Hinxton Ca 94 does seem to contain the pers.n., but in combination with topographical terms it is perhaps equally likely to be the animal.

North Hinksey was sometimes known as Laurence Hinksey (from the church dedication), Ferry Hinksey (from a ferry across the Isis established at least as early as the 15th cent.) and Ivy Hinksey (apparently from the ivy on the church tower: for these last two names v. VCH iv, 405). The two Hinkseys are (de ) duabus Henesteseies c. 1180 (13th) Abingdon.

Neither Hinksey occupies a typical 'island' site; īeg may in this instance be used of the meadowland along Hinksey Stream.