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 Woking

Historical Forms

  • Rontele 1294 Ass 1316 FF
  • Runtele 1332 SR
  • Runteley 1548 LRMB


Runtleywood (6″) is Rontele 1294Ass (p), 1316 FF (p), Runtele 1332 SR (p), Runteley 1548LRMB . v. leah . The probability here is that, as is so often the case in leah-names, we have in the first element a reference to the kind of timber found in this particular woodland. Cf. Fellow Green supra 115. There is a dialectal word runt denoting an old or decayed stump of a tree, and it may be that this is the word we have here. This word may be identical with the pers. name Hrunta found in Runtington (PN Sx 466). Cf. also Hrunting as the name of Unferth's sword in Beowulf, for which Björkman (Die Eigennamen im Beowulf 75) quotes the parallel of ON  Hrotti (< *hruntan ) as the name of Fafnir's sword, and ODan  runte , 'leaping pole.' He takes these to go back to a stem *hrungt , allied to Gothic hrugga , 'staff,' and OE  hrung , 'rung, staff.'