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.

Shrivenham Hundred

Hundred in the County of Berkshire

Historical Forms

  • Seriveham 1086 DB
  • Schriueham 1180 P
  • Scriveham c.1200 ClaudiusCix
  • Sriveham 1214 Cl
  • Shriuenham, Schriueham 1224–5 Ass
  • Schriuinham 1241 ib
  • Scrivenham 1275–6 RH
  • Shryvenham 1316 FA
  • Hilleslau(e), Hillislau 1086 DB
  • Hildeslope c. 1180 (13th) Abingdon
  • Hildeslawe 1186 P, 1224–5, 1284 Ass
  • Hilleslaue c. 1200 ClaudiusCix
  • Hyldeslawe 1220 Fees
  • Hildeslowe 1248 Ass
  • Hildeslew(e), Ildeslewe, Scildeslew 1275–6 RH
  • Wifol, Wifold 1086 DB
  • Wifholt 1188 P
  • Wifholt' 1220 Fees
  • Hundr' de Schriuinham quod vocatur Wyfold' 1241 Ass
  • Wyfholte 1247–8 ib
  • Wysolt, Wyfold' 1284 ib


Named from the manor of Shrivenham, v. 375–6. The modern hundred includes several ancient ones.

The southern part was the hundred of Hilleslau (e ), Hillislau 1086 DB, Hildeslope c. 1180 (13th) Abingdon, Hildeslawe 1186 P, 1224–5, 1284Ass , Hilleslaue c. 1200ClaudiusCix , Hyldeslawe 1220 Fees, Hildeslowe 1248Ass , Hildeslew (e ), Ildeslewe , Scildeslew 1275–6 RH.The hundred is named from hildes hlæw , 'Hild's tumulus', mentioned in the bounds of Compton Beauchamp 955 (c. 1240) BCS 908, v. hlǣw , hlāw , and Pt 3. The barrow was probably on the N. boundary of the parish of Compton Beauchamp. Ilsley (502–3), about 14 miles E., contains the same pers.n.

The northern part was the hundred of Wifol , Wifold 1086 DB, Wifholt 1188 P, Wifholt '1220 Fees, Hundr ' de Schriuinham quod vocatur Wyfold '1241Ass , Wyfholte 1247–8ib , Wysolt , Wyfold '1284ib . The place which gave name to the Hundred may be referred to 1259 Cl, where the death of a man apud Wifholt ' is mentioned. There is no indication, however, of the exact position. The second el. is certainly fal(o)d 'fold' (confused with holt 'wood'), and the name is identical with Wyfold O 46, lii. Other probable examples in Berks are Wyfield Manor Fm in Boxford, Pt 1235, and Wyvols Court in Swallowfield, Pt 1109. Anderson (211n.) thinks it likely that Wyvols Ct is a manorial name, but a number of names in Berks (such as Helm and Orpenham, 303–4, 316), which seem to be genuine local names, are mostly recorded as surnames in the ME period. The meaning of Wyfold must remain uncertain, although a number of plausible suggestions have been made. Cf. Ekwall's note in O lii, suggesting that the first element is OE  wīg 'fight', perhaps in the sense 'wrestling'. As there seem to be at least three, and possibly four, occurrences of the name, however, it may well be a technical term for a particular kind of cattle-fold.

A Hundred of Faringdon, comprising Great and Little Coxwell, part of Great Faringdon, and places in O, Gl and W (v. Anderson 211), was formed in the 13th cent. Forms for the hundred-name are Ferendon 1218 Pat, Farendon '1220 Fees, Farindone 1316 FA, Farendon 1349 Cl; v. Great Faringdon infra 365–6.