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.

Wadmill Fm

Early-attested site in the Parish of Stour Provost

Historical Forms

  • 'wood of Wabenhull' 1300 Hutch3
  • prato de Wabemille 1339 AddCh
  • Wabnell', Wabnel(l) Meade 1570 KCC
  • Wabney meede 1575 KCC
  • Wab(b)nell Meade 1576 KCC
  • Wab(b)nell Coppice 1651 KCC
  • Wabnull Mead l16 KCC
  • Wapenellwode, Whapenellmede 1444 KCC
  • Wapilmede 1452 KCC
  • Wapnell 1465 KCC
  • Wapenyll 1489 KCC
  • Wadmell (Custom) Md, Wadmill Md 1841 TA


The second el. is clearly hyll 'hill' with reference to the 200′ hill spur on which the farm is situated. The first el. is probably a pers.n., although its form is uncertain. If the earliest spellings are to be trusted, they may point to a pers.n. *Waba . This is not recorded from OE, but cf. the OE  *Wafa (or *Wāfa ) found as Waua in DB (Kt, v. Feilitzen 409) and suggested for the first el. of Wavendon Bk 39 and Wandon Hrt 24 (a cognate of OE  *Wafa would be the fem. pers.n. Waba 9th cent. given in Libri confraternitatum Sancti Galli , Augiensis , Fabariensis , ed. P. Piper, Berlin 1884, p.363, and OE  *Wāfa would be cognate with OE  Wǣba , OG  Waibilo , etc). The comparatively recent assimilation -bn - (-vn -, -pn -) > -dm - in the medial consonant cluster may be partly due to popular etymology; there was probably never a mill here (unless the palaeographical assumption about the form Wabemille 1339 is incorrect), although it is possible there was an early mill some ½ mile W in Todber, v. the TA f.n. Wood Mill in Todber par. infra .