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 Stanwix

Historical Forms

  • Brunescayd c.1240 Laner
  • Bruneskayth 1253 Pipe
  • Brunestach 1281 Ipm
  • Brunscaith 1276 LanerA
  • Brunskeyt 1292 Ass
  • Brunskayth 1318 Misc
  • Brunskaith 1332 SR
  • Brunscayth 1345 GDR
  • Brunskath 1509 Laner
  • Brumskeyt, Brumschayt 1292 Ass
  • Brunschath 1318 Misc
  • Burnscath 1422 CCt
  • litillburnscath' 1424 ib
  • Bronnsketh or Bronsketh 1498 Ipm
  • Bronsketh mylne 1563 CCt
  • Bronskewgh 1564 CCt
  • Brunstock 1662 CCt
  • Brunstock or Brunskeugh 1687 DentonL
  • Brim Stock 1710 PR
  • Brinstock 1714 ib
  • rivolum de Brunscathe, rivolum de Brunscaythe, riuulum de Brumscale 1279 Ass
  • Bruscath flu 1576 S
  • Brunscathhead 1603 Gilsland
  • Brunskathe Becke, Brunskaythe Beck 1609 SP
  • Brunskugh Beck, Brunskeugh Beck 1610 Denton
  • Brumescheyd c.1124 Glasgow
  • Brunschaith c.1250 HMC


The full series of forms now available makes it certain that the second element in this name is ON  skeið. Of the senses noted by Lindkvist (29–30) in his discussion of this word, the most likely is 'race-course' (cf. Hesket infra 199). Any explanation that is offered of the first element must be governed by the existence of at least two other examples of the same compound—a lost Brunskaith in the neighbourhood of Burgh (infra 127), and an unidentified Brumescheyd c. 1124 Glasgow, Brunschaith c. 1250 HMC (Portland) in Scotland.This repetition of the name makes derivation from the ON  personal name Brúni impossible. A compound of skeið and OE  burna would be a hybrid formation, of a type improbable in a single instance, and most unlikely to have been thrice repeated. A possible origin of the first element is ON  brunnr, 'stream.' Conceivably it is ON  brúnn 'brown horse,' if that could, like Swedish brunnte , be used of any horse. Professor Ekwall, however, prefers ON  bruni , 'place cleared by burning'; in that case Brunstock would mean 'race-course cleared by burning.'