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 Frensham

Historical Forms

  • Fermesham c.965 BCS1159,1187 c.1150 P 1190 Winton c.1200 Ass 1285 FF 1225 FF 1241 1422
  • Fremesham 967 BCS1195 c.13th VE 1535
  • Fremisham 1583 Recov
  • Farmesham 1241 Ass 1398,1415,1545 SR
  • Fermersham 1246 Cl
  • Fernesham 1258 Pat 1393,1395 SR
  • Frinseham 1525 SR
  • Frenesham al. Fermisham 1571 FF
  • Frimsam 1598 ADvi
  • Frensam 1598 Musters
  • Frensham 1553 ADvi
  • Frencham 1619 Recov
  • Frensom, Frinsom 1713,1714 HaslemereParReg
  • Fermersham of 1246 (Cl)


This is a difficult name. It should be noted that the only early form with initial Frem - is in a 13th century MS, and that there it immediately precedes Frimley, which has the form Fremesleya , so that Fermesham may well have been written Fremesham under its influence. The earliest authority for Fermesham is a 12th century MS, and the two names which precede it have been given early ME rather than OE  forms, so that the first Fermesham form is not so very distant in date from the Fermersham of 1246 (Cl). It may be suggested that this last form is the true survival of an OE  form Feorhmǣres -ham , containing a personal name Feorhmǣr , compounded of two elements freely used in Old Germanic personal names, though this particular compound is not on record. If the second r in Fermersham is taken to be merely a scribal blunder, we may suggest alternatively that the original name was Feorhmundesham .That name is on record in the OGer  form Ferahmund (Förstemann PN 503), and Feorhmundesham might well have been reduced to Fermesham by the 12th century. Ultimately Fermesham was metathesised to Fremesham , perhaps under the influence of the not very distant Frimley supra 126.