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.

Spaindelf Fm

Early-attested site in the Parish of Littleport

Historical Forms

  • Spanidelf 1251 ElyCouch
  • Spandelf t.Hy3 WMP
  • Spanisdelf 1277 Ely
  • Spaindelf 14th Cai
  • Spanydelfe 1606 Depositions
  • Spains Delph c.1840 TA


Spaindelf Fm is Spanidelf 1251ElyCouch , Spandelf t. Hy 3WMP , Spanisdelf 1277Ely , Spaindelf 14thCai , Spanydelfe 1606Depositions , Spains Delph c. 1840TA . This is probably a compound of OE  spann , 'a hand's breadth, a span' and (ge)delf, perhaps a derogatory name for a very narrow dike. Cf. further Spon End (PN Wa 167–8). The earliest forms might be read as Spain - or Spani -, but the form Spany - suggests that the second is the correct reading, with later corruption of a name no longer understood.