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.

Old Malton

Major Settlement in the Parish of Malton

Historical Forms

  • Maaltun c.1130 SD
  • Maltune 1086 DB 1160–80 Riev
  • Malton(e), Malton(e) Veteris 1173 YCh 1219 Ass
  • Malton(e) Ald 1399 YI
  • Mealton 1191 P
  • Miauton' 1200 Cur
  • Mialton 1204 Ass
  • Meautun, Meauton 1218 1221 ClR 1227 Ch 1231 Ass 1253 Ch
  • Mealtune c.1270 Gerv
  • Meuton 1218 FF 1244 Fees 1260 Baildon
  • Mauton 1250 Fees c.1260–7 Malton
  • Melton 1294 Ch


This name should be taken together with the Madaltune found in a charter of 1148 (YCh 179). It would seem to be beyond question that in that name we have a compound of OE  mæðel , 'speech,' used especially of formal speech in council.The same compound here would explain all the forms, their great variety being due to loss of inter-vocalic th . The name would mean 'discussion-village' and would refer to the holding of some moot here (cf. Matlask in IPN 65). Madaltune refers beyond question to Melton-on-the-Hill al. High Melton (YWR), which appears in DB as Medeltone , Middeltun , Mideltone , as Methylton in 1252 and as Meuton in 1269 (Ch). This has commonly been interpreted (PN YWR 130, PN SWY 212) as 'middle farm,' from ON  meðal , but the 1148 form makes this less likely and we should probably explain the DB forms as due to confusion between Methel from OE  mæðel and ON  meðel , OE  midel . In that case Melton has the same meaning as Malton.

Places in the same Parish