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.

Manshead Hundred

Hundred in the County of Bedfordshire

Historical Forms

  • Manesheue 1086 DB
  • Manesheuid 1175 P
  • Mannesheued 1176 P 1227 Ass 1247,1287 Ass
  • Mansheve 1185 P
  • Manesheued 1202,1240 Ass
  • Stanburge 1086 DB
  • Stanbrigge 1207 P 1284 FA
  • Stanburgh 1227 Ass
  • Stanbrugge 1316 FA


Manshead Hundred is one of the few Bedfordshire Hundreds of which we know the approximate meeting place. Dr G. H. Fowler (BHRS viii. 175) found in the Eversholt Enclosure Award the following field-names: Great and Little Manshead Closes, Manshead Path Close, Manshead Short Furlong and Manshead Field, all close to the boundary brook between Eversholt and Tingrith parishes. The site to which these field- names refer is a long and low but well-defined hill, well fitted for the meeting-place of a considerable assembly in early times.It is clear that the site of the hundred meeting-place must have been close to this stream and the idea receives striking confirmation in the name Tingrith itself (v. infra 134). The brook by the meeting-place must have been known as thing-rithe , i.e. brook of assembly. Its position is now uncentral for the Hundred, but it was roughly at the centre before Stanbridge half-hundred was added. The name means what it says, viz. 'man's head.'For its interpretation cf. Swineshead supra 20.