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.

Highcomb Bottom

Early-attested site in the Parish of Thursley

Historical Forms

  • hegcumbe 909 BCS627
  • Hackham Bottom or Devil's Punch Bowl 1765 R


Highcomb Bottom (alias The Devil's Punch Bowl). This is the hegcumbe of 909 (BCS 627), v. supra 165 n. Later references are Heycomb (e ) bottom 1647, 1698, 1718MinAcct , Haycombottom 1671 Musters, Highcomb bottome 1695Deed , Hackham Bottom 1729 Senex. The meaning is 'hay combe' rather than 'high combe,' and it refers to the meadow land at the northern entrance to the combe. Manning and Bray (ii, 40), with no intention of suggesting this etymology, note that in the Bottom “are a few strips of grass land watered by a small rivulet.” The alternative name, which is the one in general use now, refers to the deep circular valley here (Hackham Bottom or Devil 's Punch Bowl 1765 R). Cf. The Devil's Jumps supra 180.