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 Bingham

Historical Forms

  • Binghehā 1086 DB
  • Bingeham 1164,1168 P 1205 FineR 1211 RBE 1226 Pat 1227 Ebor
  • Byngeham 1237 Cl 1272 Ebor
  • Bynham t.Hy2 RBE 1237 Fees
  • Bingham 1212,1242 Fees 1258 FF
  • Byngham 1258 Ass 1352 Ipm
  • Byngham in the Vale 1375 Pat
  • Byngham in the Vayll, Byngham in the Veyle 1550,1553 Wills
  • Byngham in le Vale 1570 FF


The Bing -names are difficult of interpretation. The chief beside this one are Bingley (Y), Bingheleia , Bingelei 1086 DB and other similar forms, Bingfield (Nb) (PN NbDu 22) with early forms Bingefeld 1180 P and the like. The choice lies between taking the first element as a significant word or as a shortened form of some patronymic in the gen. pl. such as Bynninga from Bynna (cf. DEPN s. nn .). In favour of the latter is the persistent e . The persistent and complete reduction to Binge - is, however, somewhat surprising. We have other examples of early reduction to Binne - but none to Binge -. Cf. Binham (Nf), Binneham , Benincham DB, Binnington (PN ERY 117), Binneton , Bigneton DB (probably from Benna rather than Bynna ), while Binton (Wa), going back to OE  Bynningtun , does not appear as Bynton till the 14th century.

On the topographical side we may note that Bingham lies in the vale of Belvoir (cf. in the Vale , supra 220) at the foot of a good-sized hill, Bingfield is on a well-marked hill, Bingley is in much-broken ground, and it is difficult to say whether, if the name is of topographical origin, it derives from hill or valley.

There is a NCy word bing denoting (a ) 'heap,' (b ) 'bin, receptacle,' which is clearly to be related to ON  bingr , 'heap,' also 'boxed-off chamber,' Dan  bing 'bin,' Sw  binge , 'bin' (see Torp s. n. binge , Falk and Torp s. n. bing , Hellquist s. n. binge , from which it is clear that two independent words denoting a 'rounded lump' and a 'hollow' have been confused in the course of their history). This NCy dialect word (in either sense) might well be found in Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire but it would be surprising to find it even there in early hybrid compounds with ham and leah , and such a hybrid is still less likely in Northumberland. There is evidence, however, that the word bing was also used in England quite apart from Scandinavian influence. We have in BCS 208 an early charter relating to Icklesham (Sx) with the name binguuellan , which suggests that there was a cognate OE  bing , perhaps denoting a hollow, related to MHG  binge , 'kettle-shaped hollow in the hills' (cf. s. n. Bingleys Wood (PN Sx 464)).

What the right choice between these solutions may be it is impossible to say, and it may be that the solution is not the same in all the names alike.

Places in the same Parish