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.

Cerne, Totcome & Modbury Hundred

Hundred in the County of Dorset

Historical Forms

  • Stane hundret c.1086 GeldR
  • Morberge hundret c.1086 GeldR
  • Modberg(e) 1207 RC
  • hundredorum de Modberg' et Totecumb' 1208 ChancR
  • hundredorum de Modberg' et Totecumb(e) 1208–1214 P
  • hundredorum de Modberg' et Tot(t)ecumbe 1230 ChancR
  • hundredorum de Modberg' et Tettecumba, hundredorum de Modberg' et Tettecumbe 1230 P
  • hundredorum de Modberg' et Totecumbe 1280 Ass 1340 NI
  • duorum hundredorum de Modbere et Totecumb(e) 1208,1209 P
  • Hundr' de Modbergh 1244 Ass 1327,1332 SR
  • Modberue 1280 Ass
  • Modbarugh 1535 VE
  • Modborough 1540 Hutch3
  • 'hundred of Modborgh by Cerne' 1460 Fine
  • Medberg' 1208 FineR
  • Hundr' de Mothberghe 1244 Ass
  • Hundr' de Motberge 1265 Misc 1288 Ass
  • Motbergh(') et Cotescumb 1280 QW 1288 Ass 1338 DCM
  • Madeboroughe 1535 VE
  • Totecumb(e) 1130 PR 1160–1,1167–8 P
  • Hund' de Totecumb(e) 1280 Ass
  • (hundredorum de) Modberg', Modbere et Totecumb(e) 1208 ChancR 1208–1214 P 1230 ChancR 1280 Ass
  • (Hundr' de) Tottecumb' 1207 RC 1208 FineR
  • Modberge et Tottecumb' 1230 ChancR 1288 Ass
  • Tottecomb(') 1332 SR 1340 NI
  • Tottcombe 1664 HTax
  • hundredis de Modberge et Tetecumbe (sic) 1208 ChancR
  • Modberge et Tettecumba, Modberge et Tettecumbe (sic) 1230 P
  • (Hundr' de) Totcumb(e) 1244 Ass 1268 Ass 1288 Ass
  • Totcombe 1265 Misc 1327 SR 1535 VE
  • hundr' de Motbergh et Cotescumb (sic) 1280 QW
  • Todcombe 1540 Hutch3
  • Cerne Hundred 1303,1346,1428,1431 FA
  • Cerne Hundred, Todcombe, et Modborough 1540 Hutch3
  • (the) hundred(e)(s) of Cerne Tot(t)combe and Modbury, (the) hundred(e)(s) of Cerne Tot(t)combe and Modbureye JasI TRMB 1617 Add 1664 HTax
  • Allton pancras Libtye, Liberty of Alton Pancras 1664 HTax
  • Pidletrenthide and Minterne Libertye, Liberty of Piddle Trenthide and Minterne Magna 1664 HTax
  • liberty of Sydling 1592 VCHDo
  • Sidling Libtye, Liberty of Sidling 1664 HTax


Named from the barrow called Modbury ('barrow where meetings are held', v. (ge)mōt, beorg ) in Cattistock par. infra , which was the meeting place of the hundred, v. further below.

Named from the valley in which lies Tatcombe Wd ('Tot(t)a's valley', from the OE  pers.n. Tot (t )a and cumb ) in Cerne A. par. infra ; this was the meeting place of the hundred, v. further infra .

named from Cerne Abbas infra . Hutch3 (4 1) notes: 'Though Cerne is sometimes styled a hundred, it was only a liberty of the Abbot of Cerne…The liberty comprehends the parishes of Cerne Abbas and Nether Cerne only, though the constable chosen at its leet exercises jurisdiction through the hundreds of Modbury and Totcomb, being the chief constable for those hundreds.' As early as 1206–7, the Abbot and monks of Cerne had the hundred of Modbury and Totcomb 'with its appurtenances in fee farm to themselves and their successors for ever' (Hutch3 4 1, cf. also entries in the early 13th-cent. Pipe rolls, 1210–1230 P), and as late as 1611–12 there is a grant of 'Cerne, Totcomb, and Modbury being then said to be late parcel of Cerne Abbey' (Hutch3 loc. cit .). In an account dated 1815 it is stated that 'the annual court leet is opened on one of the hills to the east of the town, at the head of a narrow declining vale, called Totcomb , and from thence adjourned to an inn in the town' (Hutch3 loc. cit .), v. prec. and Tatcombe Wd in Cerne A. par. infra .