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.

Boreham Wood

Early-attested site in the Parish of West Overton

Historical Forms

  • Borham 1249 Ass t.Hy3 Stowe
  • bosc. de t.Ed2 For
  • foresta de Burham 1268 Ass t.Hy3 Stowe t.Ed3 For


Boreham Wood is Borham 1249Ass , t. Hy 3Stowe 798, (bosc. de ) t. Ed 2For , foresta de Burham 1268Ass , t. Hy 3Stowe 798, t. Ed 3For , Bourham , Boureham haga t. Ed 1, Boureham t. Ed 2 ib. The persistent u and ou in the early forms and the topography suggest that this cannot be identical with Boreham Wood (PN Herts 74), for the vowel there is clearly an original o and the wood lies high, whereas the site of Boreham would seem to have been in the valley. The first element may therefore be OE  (ge )būr , 'peasant,' and the whole name mean 'peasants' homestead,' v. (ge)burinfra 424 and ham .