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.

Powerstock Common

Early-attested site in the Parish of Powerstock

Historical Forms

  • Poorstock Common 1811 OS
  • the Common of Poorwood 1774 Hutch1 1 362, Poor
  • wood 1839 TA


Powerstock Common (SY 540963), Poorstock Common 1811 OS, a wooded area once part of the old forest of Powerstock, referred to as the Common of Poorwood 1774 Hutch1 1362, Poor wood 1839TA , cf. foresta de Porwode 1271 Cl, from wudu with the old name Power that forms the first el. of Powerstock supra . The popular association of this unusual el. with the word 'poor' is nicely brought out in Hutch1 1 362: 'Here still remains a tradition, that there was a wood of several hundred acres, given to the poor of the parish for fewel, now called the Common of Poorwood.' The old royal forest of Powerstock is frequently referred to in 13th-cent. sources, e.g. Boscum de Porstoke Hy 3 (14) Cerne, bosco regis de Porestok '1231 Cl, foresta (regis ) de Por (e )stok 1232, 1236, 1254 Clet freq to 1275 ib, foresta de Purstoke 1338–40 Glast. The bounds of the forest are given in 1300 Hutch3 2317. It is still marked as 'Poorstock Forest' on the 1″ map in Wynford E. par. infra .