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 Kirdford

Historical Forms

  • Hyberneogh 1262 Ass
  • Iburnehew 1271 Ass
  • Iburnehow 1332 SR
  • Iburnehou 1334 SAC50,167
  • Hybernehowe, Hiberneho 1279 Ass
  • Yburneho c. 1280 PRO, Court of Wards
  • Yburnehou 1316 FA
  • Yvernoll 1540 SRS19,195
  • Ebernowe al. Ibernowe 1608 FF
  • Ebernold 1724 B


The last two elements in this name are clearly burna and hoh .The first raises the problem of the explanation of the initial i -syllable in a number of names. The history of Iford (W) which is Igford in a charter of 987 (KCD 658) in the Codex Wintoniensis shows that the first element may be eg , ieg , 'island,' 'marshy land,' while Iridge injra 459 shows that it may equally well be iw , 'yew.' In Iwade (K), which is in marshy land, the first element is very probably ieg ; Ifield (K) lies high and the first element is probably iw . Ifold in Painswick (Gl) lies in rich and well-watered land (PN Gl 91–2) and goes with Iwade. Iwood in Congresbury (So) is probably 'yew-wood.'In none of these names do we in the early forms get anything but initial i or y so that from the form alone it is impossible to determine their history. In Ebernoe the topography is in favour of 'spur of land by the marsh-land stream' rather than 'by the yew-stream,' for there are no yews there. The ig in the OE  igford is probably only a way of representing long i . For such a form we may compare the stream-name yburnan in Mx (BCS 1290), v. Ritter 104, though as Ekwall points out (RN 207), here and in Iburndale (Y) we may well have iw-burna .Cf. also PN NRY 120, and Ifold, Ifield, Iford, Iwood, Ibrook, Iden, and Iham infra 106, 207, 318, 471, 497, 530.