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.


Early-attested site in the Parish of Brinkworth

Historical Forms

  • Gruteham 850 BCS458 14th RegMalm 1288 Ass 1289
  • Grutenham 1065 KCD817 14th WMxxxiii 1349
  • Greteham 1156 RegMalm
  • Gretheham 1268 Ass
  • Gretenham 1291 Tax 1362 BPR
  • Gretenham, Gretnam t.Eliz WMxxi
  • Gryteham 1268 Ass
  • Gritnam 1595 FF
  • Grittingham 1602 ib
  • Grotenham 1279 Ass


The soil here is gravelly and the place lies low by Brinkworth Brook; the probabilities therefore are that we have a compound of OE  grīeten , an unrecorded OE  adjectival derivative of grēot , 'gravel,' and hamm. Hence 'gravelly water-meadow or enclosure.' We may perhaps compare Grotelinche , Grotenberwe 1341 Trop (in Codford), Grotenhill 1448Kings (in Brixton Deverill), le Groten c. 1350 Trop (in Chicklade). Ekwall (DEPN s. n .) suggests that Greote was an old name for Brinkworth Brook itself, but we know now that its usual earlier name was Idover. Cf. supra 2–3.