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.


Major Settlement in the Parish of Elberton

Historical Forms

  • æwelburhe leme dich (sic for æwelburhe heme dich) 986 KCD654 Ric2
  • Eldbertone 1086 DB
  • Eadbritthona 1220 Fees
  • Elbri(g)hton(a) 1167 P 1248 Ass
  • Albric(h)ton 1186 P 1230 Cl 1236 Fees 1276 RH
  • Albrighton 1322 FF
  • Albirtone 1236 Fees
  • Alberton' 1248 Ass 1332 Orig 1424,1467 Pat
  • Halberton 1268 Ipm
  • Ailberton(e), Aylberton(e) 1248 Ass 1298 FF 1317 Ipm 1675 Ogilby
  • Ayleberton 1489 Pat 1540 MinAcct
  • Eyleberton c.1540 AOMB
  • Ailbrighton, Aylbrighton, Aylbryghton 1291 Tax 1317 Ipm 1326 FF 1378 Works
  • Aylbryghton by Thornebury 1328 Banco
  • Aylbriʒton by Olviston 1317 Ipm
  • Ayelberton 1535 VE
  • Elverton 1561 FF
  • Elberton als. Elverton 1601 ib
  • Eylberton als. Elbarton 1608 FF
  • Elberton als. Aileberton 1625 Inq


From the bounds of KCD 654 æwelburhe leme diche was on the southern boundary of Littleton between a field called Elmonger (infra ) and Rushen Gout; the ditch is now called Elberton Rhine; there can be no doubt that it refers to Elberton. The OE spelling, which is from a somewhat erratic late 14th-century copy, is clearly an error for Æþelburhe heme diche (with OE þ transcribed as p 'w'), and this is probable in view of the many ME  spellings in Ail -, Ayl - which normally goes back to OE  Æþel - (cf. Feilitzen 102–6). The later medieval spellings in -brigh -, -brich -, etc., unmistakably point to the OE  pers.n. theme -beorht (-briht ) and it would seem that the OE spelling is corrupt also in this respect, for the OE  fem. pers.n. theme -burh (as in Æþelburh ) normally retains forms like -bur (g ) in ME spellings of such p.ns. as Babraham, Wilbraham (C 100, 138), Hillborough (Wa 210), Walberton (Sx 143) or Wilberfoss (YE 188), -bur (g ) later becoming -ber : but in such names no spellings with -brigh -, etc., are found. Elberton is, therefore, 'Æþelbeorht's farmstead' (v. tūn ) and the corrupt OE  æwelburhe leme a folk-name 'men of Elberton', formed from the p.n. with ellipsis of the second el. tūn , as is usual with OE  hǣme 'dwellers, folk' (cf. Weston Subedge i, 261supra ). The OE  pers.n. Æþelbeorht occurs also in Aylburton (255infra ) and it is difficult to separate the spellings of the two places.