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.


Major Settlement in the Parish of Batcombe

Historical Forms

  • Batecumbe 1201 Cur 1244 Ass 1270 For 1274 Ipm 1280 Ass 1303 FA 1312 FF 1314 Pat
  • Batecomb(e) 1268 Ass 1290 Ch 1299 Ipm 1303 FA 1311 Ipm 1431 FA
  • Batecumb 1291 Tax
  • Batecoumb 1314 Pat
  • Battecumbe 1244 Ass 1300 Drew
  • Battecombe 14 Winch 16
  • Badecumbe 1300 Drew
  • Badecombe 1336 Ch 1337 1386 Cl
  • Badecoumbe 1384 Ipm
  • Batcomb 1340 NI 1686 DCMCt
  • Battcomb manner 1569–74 Map


Probably 'Bata's valley', from cumb and the OE  pers.n. Bata recorded once as the byname of a Winchester monk (Ælfricus qui Bata cognominabatur c.1051, v. Tengvik 287, cf. Reaney-Wilson s.n. Batt ).

In view of the two further occurrences of the name Batcombe in So (one of which is (æt ) Batancumbæ 968–71 S 1485), Ekwall DEPN s.n. suggests the possibility that the first el. 'might be a common noun bata , corresponding to ON  bati , OFris  bata 'profit, gain', and used in some transferred sense, such as 'fat pasture', or even 'good husbandman', and Zachrisson DTR 152 postulates an OE  *bat (e ) 'hill' connected with ME  batte 'stick, club, lump', cf. the more recent suggestion by the late J. McN. Dodgson that the first el. is possibly OE  *bata , a weak side-form of batt 'club', so that the meaning of Batcombe would be 'valley where such implements were made or obtained' (CDEPN s.n. Batcombe). In any case the apparent occurrence of ME  batte as a topographical term should be noted in the So surname Walter atte Batte 1327 (Reaney- Wilson s.n. Batt ) and in Do f.ns. such as la Batte 1553 in Buckland N. par. 3 250, le Battes 1346 in Charminster par. 1 344, and Shortbattes 1608 in Portland par. 1 228.