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.

Thurstable Hundred

Hundred in the County of Essex

Historical Forms

  • Thur(e)stapel(l), Thur(e)stapl(e) 1066–87 WDB 1235,1255 Ass 1264 Misc 1303 FA 1335 Ch 1341 NI
  • Thorstapel 1272 Ass
  • Turestapla 1086 DB
  • Turstapl' 1198 Cur 1274 RH
  • Turstapel 1219 Fees
  • Thurstable 1594 N
  • Hundredhouse (1398 MinAcct)


This name is probably derived from OE  þunres -stapol , 'pillar of the god þunor .' The main difficulty is the early and complete loss of medial n . Such a loss occurs in the forms of Thundersley supra 172 and is probably paralleled in Thursley (PN Sr 211–12), but there we have no forms earlier than the end of the 13th century. The only alternative would be to take the first element to be the rare Anglo-Scandinavian personal name þúr (occasionally found for þor ), with reference to the setter up or owner of the pillar, but the presence of an Anglo-Scandinavian personal name in an Essex hundred-name is most improbable.

The hundred is often called a half-hundred. Its meeting- place has not been identified, but Miller Christy has suggested that the staple stood on the tumulus c. 200 yards south-west of the church of Tolleshunt Major, almost exactly in the centre of the hundred. v. EAS xviii, 182. Reference is probably made to it in Hundredhouse (1398MinAcct ).