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.

St Martha's

Major Settlement in the Parish of St Martha's

Historical Forms

  • ecclesia S. Marthe 1224 Bracton
  • ecclesia de Sancta Martha c.1270 Winton
  • ecclesiam Sce Marthe 1291 Tax
  • ecclesie de Sancta Martha 1428 FA
  • Saint Marthe isshe 1463 AddCh
  • ochia Ste Marthe 1524 SR
  • Martirhill 1487 Ipm
  • Martyrhill 1535 VE
  • Marterhill 1541 Dugdvi
  • Marterhyll t.Hy8 MinAcct
  • Marterhill t.Eliz Musters 1576 Moulton 1602 Recov
  • Seynt Martres 1540 FF
  • Marthahill 1551 Pat
  • Martha uppon the Hill 1593 SACxix
  • Martha on the Hill 1629 SR
  • St Martha upon the hill 1653 Recov
  • Martha on ye Hill 1664 SR


The ancient church of St Martha here was early granted to Newark Priory, dedicated to St Thomas the Martyr. This may have led to confusion in some of the later forms, helped by the resemblance of Martha and martyr . Perhaps the hill was always known as Martyr Hill, and the church and parish as (St) Martha's.

In Notes on the History of Saint Martha 's by O. M. Heath (1933) the following additional forms are quoted: Sancta Martha juxta Guldeford 1409, CapellaSancte Marthe Virginis ac omnium Sanctorum Martirum vulgariter nuncupatam Martirhill 1463, Churche of Seynt Martha in Martyr hill 1510, Seynt Marter 1552, Parishe of Sainte Martha upon the hill alias Marter hill 1573, Parochia Sancte Marthe alias Martha hill alias Martir hill 1609. Most interesting is Momartre extra Gildeford 1273, evidently a corruption of the OFr  mont martre , identical with Montmartre in Paris.

Places in the same Parish