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.

Green Hammerton

Major Settlement in the Parish of Whixley

Historical Forms

  • Ambretone, Hambretone 1086 DB
  • Hamertun, Hamerton(a) 1121–7 YCh 1168 P 1172 YCh738 1189 Nost4d 1200 ChR 1397 Works
  • Gren(e) Hamerton 1176 P 1198 Fount e.13 Font 1226 FF 1586 FF
  • Green(e) Hamerton 1651 YASMd 1692 Comm
  • Grenehammerton 1405 WillY


On topographical grounds it is unlikely that this p.n. is from OE  hamor or ON  hamarr in the sense 'steep crag, cliff' which we have in Hamerton vi, 94, Hammerton vi, 201infra . The first el. could be OE  hamor 'hammer' in some such sense as 'forge, smithy', but more probably it is a plant-name as in OE  hamor-secg 'hammer-sedge' or hamor-wyrt 'black hellebore' (with loss of the second theme in the p.n., cf. Ritter 88). Hence 'farmstead where some such plant abounded', v. tūn . 'Green' from the village green (v. grēne 2 ) to distinguish it from Kirk Hammerton 11infra . v. Addenda.