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 Whitestone

Historical Forms

  • focgan igeðas 739 Crawf 11th
  • Voggeheyes c.1340 HMCExeter
  • Foghaye c.1520 HMCExeter
  • Fogghey 1575 BM


The first form, derived from the great Crediton charter, refers to the islets at the junction of the Exe and the Creedy. Voghay Fm is a quarter of a mile south-east, away from the river, and it is more likely that the two names contain the same first element than that the places concerned are actually identical, though from the point of view of form Voghay(s) might conceivably go back to focgan igeðas . More probably the second element in Voghay is OE  (ge)hæg, 'enclosure.' For the first element we have, as Stevenson notes (Crawford Charters , p. 48), a choice between a possible OE  focga , the ultimate source of fog , a term for aftermath and for coarse reeds, and a pers. name Focga . We get focga in focgan crundel (KCD 1309), but it is difficult to see how focga as a significant word could have anything to do with crundel. An aftermath on the tiny eyot in the Exe is also very unlikely, though reedy grass is possible. On the ground also of the difficulty of a genitival compound in the only two known examples of this word, one must incline to a pers. name. This, as Stevenson notes, receives some support from the phrase focginga byras (BCS 343), though that is not decisive.Focga would be a natural pet-form for such a name as Folcgār .