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 Gosforth

Historical Forms

  • Goseford c.1150 StB 1396 FF
  • Gosford c.1170 StB 1440 FF
  • Gosseford c.1225 StB 1514 BM
  • Gouseford, Gowseford c.1225 StB
  • Gosforth in Coupeland 1388 Pat
  • Gosford al. Gesforth in Coupeland 1405 ib
  • Gossefurth t.Hy8 AOMB
  • Gosfurthe 1540 MinAcct
  • Gosfoorth 1578 Cocker
  • Gosforth or Gosford 1777 NB


OE  gōsa -ford, 'geese's ford.' The final -th in the modern name is due to Scandinavian influence. In view of the strongly Scandinavian character of the district, shown in the decoration of the famous Gosforth cross, the change from ford to forth had probably occurred in local speech many generations before it is first recorded in documents; it occurs also in Gosforth (PN NbDn 95).