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.


Early-attested site in the Parish of Lorton

Historical Forms

  • Hopecartan 1260 Rental
  • Hobbecartan 1290 MinAcct


This is a difficult name. There is little doubt that it is an inversion compound of which the second element is the OIr  personal name Cartán . The alternation of Hope - and Hobbe - in the early forms makes the meaning of the first element uncertain. The name as a whole probably refers to the hill which culminates in Hobcarton End, and it is at least possible that the first element should be associated with the word *hobb or *hobbe which Ekwall (Studies 177–8) suggests for the first element of Hautbois (Nf). A cognate of the word is recorded in Frisian with the sense of a 'piece of rising ground surrounded by marsh.' Its history is obscure and its meaning cannot be defined closely, but its general sense seems to have been 'hill.'