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 Ely Trinity Detached

Historical Forms

  • Stuntenei 1086 DB
  • Stunten(e)ie 1086 InqEl
  • Stunteneia, Stunteneya, Stunteney(e) 1109 LibEl 1418 Pat
  • Stounteneye 1323 Sacr
  • Stuntney 1436 Ct
  • Stonteneia 1086 InqEl
  • Stonteney(e) 1285 Ass 1490 Ely
  • Stumteneye 1283 Pat
  • Stumpney 1541 MinAcct
  • Stynteneye 1298 Ass
  • Stantney 1576 Saxton 1610 Speed


Both Skeat and Ekwall explain this name as'Stunta 's isle,' the personal name deriving from OE  stunt , 'foolish,' v. ēg . Cf. Stonesfield (O), Stuntesfeld DB, from the strong form Stunt . It is perhaps worth noting that in the Cambridgeshire dialect, stunt means both 'blunt of manner' and 'steep.' The ultimate history of OE  stunt is uncertain, but probably the physical sense 'cut off, abrupt, steep' is the earlier one, and possibly we have the adjective here, in which case the meaning would be '(at the) steep island.' Cf. “This Isle…riseth suddenly…” (1604Atkyns ).