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.

Hurstingstone Hundred

Hundred in the County of Huntingdonshire

Historical Forms

  • Hyrstingestan, Hertingestan 1086 DB
  • Herstingestan 1086 DB c.1120–30,c.1136–40 BM
  • Hurstingestan 1168 P
  • Horstingestan 1169 P
  • Hurstincton 1189 BM
  • Hirstingestan 1207 P 1270 Ass
  • Hirstlingestan 1209 For 1227 Ass
  • Hurstingeston 1227 Ass
  • Hyrstingston, Hirstyngston 1255 For 1327 SR 1428 FA
  • Hurstyngston, Hurstingston 1303 FA 1585 D
  • Hirstlyngstone 1364,1370 Cl


The history of this Hundred-name has been made out by Mr Goodall in the paper already referred to s. n. Sword Point supra 190. He makes a convincing case for thinking that under the immediately preceding tribal name, the Herefinna with 1200 families, are concealed the Hyrstingas , who gave their name to this Hundred. This is justified, not only by their position, but also by the evidence of the MSS themselves, for as Mr Goodall points out, the Latin version of this document (BCS 297 A) has Herfuina with an alteration in a late copy to Herstina , while version 297 B has Heresinna . These Hyrstingas must have been so called because they lived in the wooded district which included Old and Wood Hurst, Upwood, Wood Walton and Warboys, places which, by their very names, remind us that this district was once well wooded. The meeting- place of these Hyrstingas or woodland dwellers was at the stone which is still marked as the Hursting Stone by Gordon and Bowen in their 18th cent. maps of Hunts. It now appears as the Abbot's Chair, a mile and a half to the south of Old Hurst.The Hurstingstone Hundred was held by Ramsey Abbey and it is clear that from the 12th cent. the Abbot held his court at the old meeting-place. The Chair is a large square stone, in shape of a chair, with traces of an inscription, now illegible… Local tradition says that Mother Shipton used to sit in this chair and utter her prophecies in the 16th cent. The stone must have come from a distance, as there is no stone in this part of Hunts. v. Addenda.