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.


Early-attested site in the Parish of Horsell

Historical Forms

  • Siþuuode hagan 675 BCS 13th
  • siþ wuda 956 BCS955 c.1250
  • Sithwod(e) 1229 ADiii 1430 WAM
  • Sythewode 1409 WAM
  • Sythewood 1629 FF
  • Sytwode 1282 WAM
  • Sidwode 1345,1348 WAM 1348 FF
  • Sydewode 1363 WAM
  • Sidwood end 1680 Seller
  • Sidewood End 1749 B 1773 Kitchin


It is difficult to be sure what the first element in this name is. Alternative possibilities suggest themselves: (1) The OE  word sīþ is used of a journey, an expedition, and the like, but is mainly poetic and metaphorical in its use, though we have suggestions of a more ordinary use in siþ -boc as a gloss for Lat. itinerarium . It is just possible that the siþ -wudu was so called from some expedition in the past. (2) More probably it may be suggested that the first element is (ge )sīð , 'socius, comes.'A wood which had once been in the possession of such might be called (ge )siþ -wudu . Cf. Thenford (PN Nth 61), which is a compound of OE  þegn . (3) As the forms are late, it may be that we have a compound of OE  sigþe , siþe , 'scythe,' the wood having been so called from its shape.