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.

Stampfen Drove

Early-attested site in the Parish of Whittlesey

Historical Forms

  • stampe or were 1600 AddCh
  • Crouchestampe 1406 ElyF


Stampfen Drove (6″). Cf. Stamp cross 1603Survey , (low ground called) the Stamp 1650FenS , the Stamp Gravel 1788 Fenland iv. This is one of the words used of “letts and impediments hindring the fall of the waters” in the fens, e.g. “gravels, dames…wares, stamps , slackes, cradgings” (1616 BedL). Cf. “stampes damys et alia ingenia in Ripa de Wysbech…per que aqua…artatur seu obstupatur” (1438Sewers ) and “ther is an hill or stampe growing or standing in the myddest of the River…that is a verie great anoyance and hindrance to the passage of the River” (1617Dugd f. 34). Other references are “piscaria voc. weares uel stampes ” (1588Ct ) in Newton in the Isle of Ely, stampe or were (1600AddCh ) in Elm and earliest of all, Crouchestampe (1406ElyF ) in Lakenheath (Sf). NED (s. v. stamp sb.) quotes a passage from Robert of Brunne (1338) where Sir John Beauchamp is drowned in “a water stampe. ” This must be the same word. The persistence of the form stampe from the 14th century onwards makes it impossible to accept the suggestion of the NED that it is an altered form of stank , 'pool.' More probably it is allied to ON  stampr , 'large tub,' Ger  stampf , 'mortar, swill-tub,' LGer  stampe , 'drinking-glass.'Cf. stamp sb. (NED) and Torp s. v. stamp .