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.

All Cannings and Bishop's Cannings

Major Settlement in the Parish of All and Bishop's Cannings

Historical Forms

  • Caneganmersc 1010 ASC c.1100
  • Caningan mærsc c.1120 ib
  • Caningmershe 1289 FF
  • (Stokes in) Kanyngemersh 13th Shaston
  • (Alyngton in) Canyngmershe 1394 GDR
  • Caninge, Caininghā 1086 DB
  • Caninges 1091 StOsmund 1148 HMCVari 1217 ClR 1249 Ass
  • Kaningis c.1150 ib
  • Canengis 1161 BM
  • Kaninges 1186 P 1242 Fees
  • Kanynges 1249 Ass
  • Canninges 1146 SarumCh 1177 BM 1185 P
  • Keninges 1201 Cur
  • Kening' 1212 ClR
  • Aldekanning' 1205 FineR
  • Aldechannigg' 1205 ClR
  • Alecaninges 1283 Ipm
  • Allescannyng 1306 Cl
  • Alcanninges 1316 FA
  • Canyng Episcopi 1294 Ch
  • Bisshopescanyngges 1314 FF
  • Bysshoppys Cannyngys 1530 Recov


In relation to this name a word must first be said as to the identification of OE  caneganmersc , caninganmærsc . In 1010 the Danes burned Northampton, gathered as large an army as they could, crossed the Thames into Wessex and made their way as far as Caningan mærsc , burning and ravaging, and then turned home. This marshland has commonly been identified with the well-watered land through which the Kennet and Avon Canal now runs, in which All Cannings and Bishop's Cannings lie, some three miles apart, with Allington between them and with Beechingstoke (cf. infra 318) still further to the south-east.Karlström (166) having noted a 16th-century field-name Caningmersshe in Damerham (VCH Ha iv, 586), suggested it was there that one must seek the site of caninga mærsc . In PN Sx Pt. I, xliii, the present writers accepted this identification but were certainly wrong in doing so. We have now three further references to Caningmershe and they certainly belong to the Cannings area and not to Damerham.

Caningas would seem to denote 'the people of Cana ' (v. ingas and PN in -ing 69). The name is on record in DB in the forms Cana , Cane , Cano , Cauns (Feilitzen 213), but the history of the name is obscure. Persistent single n prevents association with OE  canne , 'can, cup.' All Cannings is Old Cannings, v. eald . Bishop's Cannings belonged to the Bishops of Salisbury already in DB.

Places in the same Parish