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 Bradworthy

Historical Forms

  • Esastapla 1086 DB
  • Hethestapele 1242 Fees792
  • Henstaple 1244 Ass
  • Euestapel (sic) 1303 FA
  • Enstaple 1314 Exon
  • Yenstaple 1314 Exon 1431,1458 IpmR


Professor Ekwall suggests OE  hǣðena -stapol as the OE form of this name. One might interpret this as referring to some pillar or landmark which the Saxon invaders associated with earlier heathen worship. It may have stood on the site of the present Instaple Cross. v. stapol .