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 Sunningwell

Historical Forms

  • (ad) Sunnigwellan 811 BCS352 c.1200
  • Sunningauuille 821 c.1200 ib
  • Suniggawelle 821 c.1240 ib
  • Soningeuuel 1086 DB
  • Sunni(n)gewelle William Abingdon c.1240
  • Suningewell' 1224–5 Ass 1244 Cl
  • Sunningewell' 1241 Ass 1242–3 Fees
  • Sunyngewell 1347 Pat
  • Sonigwell' (p), Schonigwell' 1241 Ass
  • Sonyngwelle 1327 SR
  • Sonnyngwell', Sonyngwelle 1375–6 ObAcc
  • Sunningwell' 1242–3 Fees
  • Suningwell' 1243 Cl
  • (on) sunningawylles broc 956 (c. 1200) BCS 924
  • (andlang) sunninga wylle broces 956 (c. 1200) ib 932


The name is also referred to in the phrase (on ) sunningawylles broc 956 (c. 1200) BCS 924, (andlang ) sunninga wylle broces 956 (c. 1200) ib 932, 'Sunningwell brook'. This is the stream which rises near Foxcombe Hill and flows from there to the Ock, forming part of the W. boundary of Sunningwell parish. O.S. maps show another small stream rising by the church in the centre of the village, and this is probably the 'spring of the Sunningas', v. w(i)ella.

The Sunningas were a group whose territory covered a considerable part of E. Berkshire, and their name survives in Sonning and Sunninghill (Pt 1, 132, 88). Sunningwell is about 20 miles N.W. of their province, and is probably named from a small group of settlers from there.