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 Benefield

Historical Forms

  • Beringafeld 10th BCS1129,1130 c.1200
  • Berifeld 1201 P
  • Benefeld 1086 DB 1213 ClR 1346 FA
  • Benefeud 1255 Seld13
  • Bennifeld 1130 P
  • Banefeld c.1150 Ch 1252 P(CR) 1230 ADC9856 1252 For 1293 Cl 1356
  • Benifeld 1189 Ch 1332 Survey 12th ADi 1481
  • Beningfeld 1213 PatR c.1220 WellsR 1269 FF 1285 Ass 1321 Ch 1349 1357 Cl
  • Beningfeud 1273 Cl 1275
  • Benfeld 1227 Ch
  • Banifeld 1230 P(CR) 1246 Seld13
  • Banifeud 1255 Seld13
  • Bamigfeld (sic) 1230 P
  • Benigfeld 1268 Ass c.1270 Gerv
  • Benyfeld Netherthorp 1481 ADi


The survival of two independent forms Beringafeld (with medial r ) from the Peterborough Cartulary, supported by the form Berifeld in the Pipe Roll of 1201, makes it clear that the n of all the other forms is most probably due to Anglo-Norman assimilation (cf. IPN 106). One cannot explain the forms with r as due to Anglo-Norman dissimilation, for there is no trace of Anglo-Norman influence in this part of the Peterborough Cartulary. On the other hand, complete AN assimilation is natural in a ME name in a district so highly feudalised as the one in question. This name must be a derivative of the pers. name *Bera discussed under Barford (PN BedsHu 51). Hence, 'open land of Bera 's people,' v. feld 3 . Netherthorp , i.e. 'lower village' in contrast to Upthorpe now Upper Benefield infra 212.