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.

Wytherstone Fm

Early-attested site in the Parish of Powerstock

Historical Forms

  • Wythe(e)rston(') 1258 For 1280,1288 Ass 1350 Ilch 1410 Ilch 1494 Ilch
  • Wytherstone, Witherston 1285 FA
  • Wythereston', Wythertun', Whiterston' (sic) 1288 Ass
  • Witherston(e) 1560 Drew 1653 ParlSurv 1664 HTax 1811 OS
  • Witherson 1700 Mont
  • Wytheston(') 1269 Ch 1270 Hutch1 1300 Hutch3 1376 Ilch 1383 Ilch 1400 Ilch 1467 Ilch
  • Wythestun 1270 For
  • Witheston(') 1269,l13 Ilch 1311 Pap 1336 Ch 1376 Ilch 1400 Ilch 1467 Ilch
  • Wydeston 1269 Ch 1357 AddMS 18
  • Wyde(s)ton 1291 Tax
  • Wideston' 1350 Ilch
  • Wetherstone 1544 Drew
  • Wythereston' 1317 Drew


There can be no certainty regarding the origin and meaning of this name. The spellings in Wyther (e )ston , Witherston , etc., suggest 'Wiðer's farmstead', from tūn and an OE  masc. pers.n. Wider evidenced in Werrington and Wittering Nth 246–7, DEPN 507, 528 (cf. also Redin 39), or alternatively perhaps 'wether's farmstead', i.e. 'farmstead where wether-sheep are reared', if the first el. is rather *wiðer , a secondary form of weðer 'castrated ram, wether' suggested for Withersdale and Withersfield Sf (DEPN 527). However the early spellings in Wytheston , Witheston , Wydeston , etc., without medial -r - would seem to support a solution first proposed by Fägersten 242, 'willow stone', i.e. 'stone by which willows grow', from wīðig , wiððe and stān . On the face of it this is an unlikely combination, since as Kökeritz 126 points out (discussing this interpretation) 'willows never grow on stony or rocky ground', but in fact local information regarding the geological formation here makes the explanation plausible. Correspondence with the owner of the farm in 1974 reveals that 'the house is built right on a deep and complicated fault. On the front of the house…the stone is on the surface and so hard that no post can be driven in and no gravel is needed. At the back the clay is…heavy and wet…Willows therefore, and the sallow particularly, thrive in the stream above and around us, although the stone protrudes'. There is mention of 'church of Wythereston ' in 1317 Drew.