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.

East Tanfield

Major Settlement in the Parish of Kirklington

Historical Forms

  • Tanefeld 1086 DB 1184 RichReg 1204 Ass 1279–81 QW 1283 Rich c.1291 Tax
  • Danefeld, Danefelt 1086 DB
  • Estanfeld(e) 1157 RichReg 1396 Pap 1579 FF
  • Tannefeld(e) 1198 Fount 1301 Ebor
  • Est Tanefeld 1280 Ass 1292 Ch
  • Esttanfeld 1327 Banco


The first element of this name offers difficulty. Redin (110, 137) adduces a number of pers. names from DB such as Tone (Y), Tonne (L, Wa), and suggests that as the distribution of the name is in Scand England it is derived from OEScand  Tonne , Tonna . There is, however, a certain amount of evidence which points to an OE  pers. name Tona or Tana . A pers. name Ton (possibly OE) is adduced from MHG ii. 634, and another form of this strong pers. name is found in OE  in tanes bæce (Staunton on Arrow, He) BCS 1040, Tansley (Db), Tanysleg E 1 BM, Tanesley e. 14 BM, and Tansor (Nth), Tanesoure 1316 BM. A weak form Tana , Tona is possibly the first element of Thanington (K), OE  Taningtune BCS 404, and Tanworth (Wa), Taneworth 1229–43 BM, Thanewurth 1251 Ch, Toneworth (e )1316 FA, 1340 BM. As a name-theme it is found in OE  Tonberct (LVD) and it is connected by Müller (Die Namen des nordhumbrischen Liber Vitae 112) with OHG  -zan in the pers. names Donazan , Grazan , and Zanvîdus .

Professor Ekwall suggests that in the case of East and West Tanfield we may explain the name by metanalysis as from ēast (west ) ānfeld , with t of east (west ) transferred to an earlier and unrecorded Anfeld . v. feld .

Places in the same Parish