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.

Knap Barrow

Early-attested site in the Parish of Cranborne

Historical Forms

  • Knap Barrow 1811 OS
  • plac' voc' Knappedebergh 1382 Cecil
  • Knapped Barrowe e17 CecilMap
  • (Rough Bank in) Knapped Barrow 1846 TA


Knap Barrow (SU 051150), Knap Barrow 1811 OS, plac ' voc ' Knappedebergh 1382Cecil , Knapped Barrowe e17CecilMap , (Rough Bank in ) Knapped Barrow 1846TA , cf. Cnappedeberghe 1344 Cl (probably not this place, but a point on the county bdy near here), v. beorg 'a hill, a mound'; it is described as a tumulus (6″), but it is in fact a natural feature, the remains of Tertiary capping overlying the chalk. The significance of the first el. is not clear, cf. Knappydehalle 1184; however it is most probably a derivative in -ede of cnæpp 'top, cop', meaning 'provided with a top', cf. coppede , pīcede , peked ; it is perhaps less likely to be the pa.part, of the ME  vb. knap (p ) 'to break, snap, etc' (NED knap from c. 1470), cf. ModE  knapped 'broken' (of flints) (NED from 1861), Brokenborough W 53 which is from brocen 'broken' and beorg .