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 Himbleton

Historical Forms

  • Fepsetnatun 956 BCS937 11th
  • Fepsetenatun 1086 DB
  • Fepsintuna, Fepsintune c.1086 EveB 1190 Surv c.1150 WoP 1240
  • Vespinton 1255 Ass
  • Fepsinton 1275 SR 1276 RH 1304–5 Wigorn
  • Vepsenthone 1280 For
  • Phepsynton, Phepsington 1302,1305 Wigorn
  • Fepson 1583,1589 Wills
  • Phepston, Fepston 1649 Surv 1679 FF


This is a difficult name. It seems probable that we should bring it into relation to the district in Middle Anglia which Bede (i. 271) calls in Feppingum . It cannot actually be identified with Phepson, for Himbleton is definitely out of Middle Anglia, though not far from what must have been its southern border (cf. Mawer, PN and History 11). We have seen above (s. n. Broadwas) how the inhabitants of a place might be named by taking the first element in its name and tacking on to it in quite illogical fashion the element sæte . It is possible that there may have been a migration of people from the district of the Feppingas into Himbleton. These migrants might well be called Fepsæte and their new home Fepsetenatun , 'farm of the Fepsæte.'For the etymology of Feppingas v. Ekwall, PN in -ing 112, n. 1, where it is suggested that this is from a pers. name connected with OHG  Faffo , Faffilo . See further Introd. xviii.