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 Histon

Historical Forms

  • Histonona (sic) 1086 InqEl
  • Histuna, Histune 1086 InqEl
  • Histone 1086 DB, InqEl
  • Histon(e) 1157–63 RegAntiquiss
  • Hystun' 1248 Cl
  • Hyston(e) 13th Barnwell 1434 Pat
  • Hyston Abbatis, Hyston Sancti Andree 1291 Tax
  • Hyston Sancte Ætheldrede 13th Ely
  • Hyston E(y)nsham 1539 Eyns
  • Hyston Dennye al. Bowyer c.1570 ChancP
  • Hyston Awdry al. Evensham t.Jas1 Colexxxvii
  • Hissen 1592 PCC
  • Heston' 1165 P a.1169 ElyM 1203 Ass 1363 Pat
  • Huston(a) 1188–99 P 1199 CurR 1206 Cur 1224 FF 1225 SR 1251 Eyns
  • Bowyer (c. 1570 ChancP)


The first element in this name is difficult. Ekwall (DEPN), relying on a form Hestitona (1086 ICC), which really refers to Hinxton supra 94), interprets the name as Hȳþsǣta -tūn , 'the tūn of the dwellers at the hȳþ or landing-place.' But, with the correct identification of Hestitona , there is no evidence for the medial -sǣta -, and a landing- place here is doubtful or impossible, for Beach Dyke does not reach Histon. We may perhaps compare Husborne Crawley (PN BedsHu 118–19) and Hurstbourne (Ha), both of which occur in charters as Hysseburnan . The first element there may be OE  hysse , 'a tendril or vine-shoot,' used of some plant, or, perhaps OE  hyssa , gen. plural of hyse , 'young man, warrior.' Hysse-tun , or hyssa-tun would account for the variation between i , e and u . The entire absence of any sign of the ss , or of the intermediate vowel is somewhat disturbing, but as none of the forms is really early, this is not an insuperable difficulty.There were two parishes with churches dedicated to St Andrew and St Etheldreda . The manor of Histon St Andrew came, about 1391, to Denny Abbey and on the dissolution was granted to Sir William Bowyer (c. 1570 ChancP); that of Histon St Etheldreda (or Audrey ) belonged to the Abbot of Eynsham.

Places in the same Parish