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 Remenham

Historical Forms

  • Rameham 1086 DB
  • Remenham 1086 GilbertCrispin 1224–5 Ass 1227–8,1309–10 FF 1316 FA 1327 SR 1517 D
  • Remnam 1535 VE
  • Remnham 1655 BM
  • Remenham alias Remnam 1697–8 Bodl
  • Remeham 1167 P
  • Ramenham 1227–8 FF 1310 BM 1326 Cl 1502 AD
  • Rampnham 1450 BM
  • Rummenham 1241 Ass
  • Rumenham 1284 ib
  • Rumeham 1268 Ass


The second el. is hām or hamm ; there are no spellings in -mm , but hamm would be perfectly appropriate in the meanings 'land in a river-bend' or 'water-meadow'. Ekwall (DEPN) suggests rima 'border', or a dialectal variant rioma , for the first el. and this would give excellent sense, the meaning being 'village by the river-bank', with reference to the position of the place immediately beside the Thames. The spellings with -e - and -u -, however, are more consistent with late OE  -eo - (-a - in some forms would be a Norman spelling for -e -); and while reoma is a possible dialectal variant of rima , it should be noted that the el. occurs in several p.ns. (Rimington YW, Rimpton So, Rimside Nb, Ryme Do), the spellings for which do not suggest any other form than rima . Dr O. von Feilitzen points out, however, that back-mutation of the vowel is not to be expected in stem-compounds such as Rimingtūn , Rimtūn , so reoma , dialect variant of rima 'border', is a possible first el. of Remenham.

Another possibility is OE  rēoma , only recorded in the sense 'membrane, ligament', but perhaps having earlier meanings which would make possible a transferred sense such as 'narrow strip of ground'. Professor Löfvenberg points out that rēoma corresponds to OSaxon, OHG  riomo , G  Riemen 'strap, thong'.