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.

Avon Dassett

Major Settlement in the Parish of Avon Dassett

Historical Forms

  • Derceto 1086 DB
  • Derchet 1173,1175 P 1214 FineR
  • Dercet 1233 AD 1241 Pat
  • Derceth 1235 Fees
  • Auene Dercete 1202 FF
  • Avenederced 1223 CartMisc
  • Aven(e)dercet 1242 Fees 1247 SR 1279 Nott 1317 FF
  • Avene Dercette 1247 Ass
  • Avenederchet 1272 ib
  • Afnedereceth 1185 Templars
  • Dercestre 1219 FineR
  • Auedercestre 1285 Ass
  • Hauene dercest 1236 FF
  • Auene Derscete 1227 FF
  • Derset(e) parva 1291 Tax 1332 BM
  • Parva Dersete 1297 Pat
  • Avenesderset 1315 Ipm
  • Aven(e) Derset 1316 FA 1335 Ipm 1367 IpmR 1428 FA
  • Awen Darset 1496 Pat
  • Avyndorsett 1486 KnowleG
  • Avuyndorset 1496 Pat
  • Avendorshalt 1611 FF
  • Dassett, Dassett p'va 1535 VE
  • Dossett 1616 FF
  • Avon Dassett al. Little Dassett 1657 ib


This name must be considered together with Burton Dassett infra 268, an adjoining parish, and with Dosthill supra 17, in the extreme north of the county. The second element would seem to be the Celtic cēt , 'wood,' found in other English place- names (cf. IPN i, 26). This normally develops to -chet , but it is possible that in the Warwickshire names the -set may be due to Norman influence. Cf. Cerne (PN Do 190) and the numerous names in -cester . If this is so, the -to , -tone of the DB spellings is best explained as a scribal blunder. The first element is more difficult. It might be the British word for 'oak,' derua - (W derw ), which would agree well with a second element meaning 'wood,' but as we have no OE forms we cannot tell whether an original medial w has been dropped or not. For early loss of w cf. Dart, Darent (RN 113–4). Professor Vendryes calls attention to similar loss of w in Irish dair (from *dori -) side by side with daur (from (*doru ) and notes such Irish compounds as der-thech , 'house of oak, oratory* and dair-mag , 'field of oaks.' The distinguishing prefix Aven (e ) looks like the well-known British word for 'water' or 'river' (v. RN 20). If this is so it must have been the name for the little stream which rises here and flows south-east to join the Cherwell at Banbury.

Places in the same Parish

Early-attested site