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.

Sixpenny Fm

Early-attested site in the Parish of Fontmell Magna

Historical Forms

  • Sexepenne 1340 NI
  • Sexpenne 15 ShaftR
  • mes' voc' Seppens c.1560 Glyn


Sixpenny Fm (ST 844169), Sexepenne 1340 NI (p), Sexpenne n.d. (15) ShaftR (p), mes ' voc ' Seppens c. 1560Glyn , to be associated with the bdy clause on ðæs lutlen seaxpennes suð eke 'upon the southern edge of the little *Seaxpenn ' in the Anglo-Saxon bounds of Fontmell M. (932 (15) ShaftR (S 419)), where *Seaxpenn refers to Pen Hill (356′) in Sutton W. par. supra . The second el. is PrWelsh  penn1 'hill', cf. Ekwall DEPN s.v. who notes the probability that the word was to some extent used by the Anglo-Saxons as an appellative. The first el. is almost certainly Seaxe 'Saxons' (in an uninflected form Seax -) as first supposed by Zachrisson RomK 49 and later by Anderson 141 (rather than seax 'sword, knife', or (figuratively) 'stone, rock', preferred by Fägersten 20, Kökeritz 122). There is an interesting parallel (though with inversion) in Pensax Wo, unexplained in PN Wo 67 but thought to be probably 'the hill of the Saxons' by Ekwall DEPN, v. also Jackson 226, 539. It is possible that Pen Hill, earlier *Seaxpenn , marks an ancient Saxon bdy as supposed by Anderson 141; what is certain is that it gave name to the old GeldR hundred of Sexpene , its position near the centre of the hundred making it an appropriate meeting place, v. Sixpenny Handley hundred supra .