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.

Kismeldon (Bridge)

Early-attested site in the Parish of West Putford

Historical Forms

  • Kestelmeledon 1219 Ass
  • Kystemeldon' 1242 Fees787 1330 SR
  • Kistemeldon' 1244 Ass
  • Kystumelbreggy, Kistelmelebrigge 1279 Ipm
  • Custummelbrigge 1283 Pat
  • Kytelmelbrig' al. Kustemelebrugg' 1283 Ipm
  • Kystemele Brugg 1366 Ch
  • Kystermeldon 1303 FA
  • Kistermelebrigge 1318 Ch
  • Kestmelbrug 1343,1346 Ipm


The etymology of this name is suggested in EPNs. v. cristelmæl . This word, which has a metathesised form cyrstelmæl , denotes a cross or crucifix. It is found five times in lists of boundaries in OE charters, the most interesting reference being to one standing on a watch-hill (wearddune þær þæt cristelmæl stod BCS 1176). It is compounded with ac (BCS 204) and beam (BCS 919), denoting apparently an oak or other tree on which there was a crucifix, and with leah in the unidentified cristemeleighe (BCS 768) in Dorset. It would seem to be a variant by dissimilation of a more regular cristenmæl , i.e. Christian sign, found in a different text of BCS 919. The down and bridge seem independently to have been named from the same cross.