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.

North Sweeming, Sweeming Bridge

Early-attested site in the Parish of Sherburn in Elmet

Historical Forms

  • Swythemund 1283 Ch
  • Swithemond 1304 MinAcct
  • Northswymond 1509 Rent58
  • North Swimings 1817 M


North Sweeming, Sweeming Bridge, Swythemund 1283 Ch, Swithemond 1304MinAcct 14, Northswymond 1509Rent 58, North Swimings 1817 M. This curious p.n. is probably a compound of ON  sviðinn pa.part of svíða 'to burn' and the word which became ModE  mound 'embankment, fence' (as also in Mumbury Field 207infra ), thought to be connected with OE  mund, esp. in the compound mund-beorg 'protecting hill' (though that might be an error for munt-beorg from OE  munt 'mountain'). Mound is not recorded before 1531, though some p.ns. would carry its use back to late OE (cf. Munden Hrt 133, Munden Ess 220). What gives credence to this suggestion for North Sweeming is the existence a little to the south across Bishop Dike of an old site called Castle Hill (1″ O.S. 97–531334), and a little to the south-east (ib 543336) of a system of moats surrounding another old site now called Manor Garth; since the latter should be identified with Rest Park (infra ), Castle Hill must be the site referred to. It would seem that an old habitation was burnt down; its site was then known as Swithemund 'burnt mound or embankment', but afterwards the name came into use for the more northerly farmstead at North Sweeming.