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.

Brinfast Fm

Early-attested site in the Parish of North Mundham

Historical Forms

  • Brunefasten 683 LibY c.1300
  • Brune(s)fast 1296,1327 SR 1340 Fine
  • Brimfastun 683 BCS 14th
  • Brimesfasten 957 BCS997 14th
  • Bronnesfist 1279 Ass
  • Bronnesfast 1369–85 LibP
  • Brenefest 1279 Ass
  • Bremesfast 1332 SR


There can be little doubt that in interpreting this name we must take into account Brimesdik (BCS 64), Brynesdic (BCS 997). This, according to the charter of the bounds of the Liberty of Manhood, dated 1525, printed by Heron-Alien (Selsey Bill 9), was Brunesdyke , “now called Bremersdytch ”, and if so must have been near Bremere Rife and Bramber (v. supra ) just half-a-mile east of Brinfast. It is clear that the two places were so close that they probably both contain the same pers. name, viz. OE  Brȳni . This name is also found in Brynesfleot (BCS 50), the old name for the stream which divides Bersted (now Bognor) from Felpham, v. infra 93 note, and the reference may in all these cases be to the same man. The suffix is OE  fæsten, 'stronghold,' with early loss of final -en as in Holdfast (PN Wo 140). n was readily assimilated to m before following f . The dic of Brynesdic may well have been part of the actual stronghold.