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.

Spinney Abbey

Early-attested site in the Parish of Wicken

Historical Forms

  • (de) Spineto 1227 FF
  • Spinney 1267,1301 Pat 1438 Imb
  • (La) Spyn(n)ey(e) 1279 RH 1403 EAxiii
  • Spine c.1290 Hosp 13th Colexviii
  • Speney(e) 1374 1511 CAPrxxxiv


“The spinney,” OFr  espinei , “a place where thorn-trees grow.” Cf. “the prior and convent of St Mary and St Cross in the Spinney of Wykes” (1269 Pat). Often referred to by its Latinised name Spinetum , 'thorn-thicket.'