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.

Holmestrow Hundred

Hundred in the County of Sussex

Historical Forms

  • Homestreu 1086 DB
  • Holmestre 1193 P
  • Holmestr' 1248 Ass
  • Holmestrowe t.Ed1 IpmR 1279 Ass 1316 FA
  • Holmestrouhe 1272 RH


This is clearly one of the numerous hundred-names ending in 'tree' (v. treo(w)). The first element is archaic in character.If we take it to be a significant word the only suggestion that can be offered is that of Ekwall (Anglia Beiblatt 35, 28) that it is the word holm used in the sense 'hill' which it has in Old Saxon. This involves however a somewhat unlikely genitival compound. If we take it to be a pers. name it must be an unrecorded cognate of ON  Hólmr , well-attested in early compounds. The only other possible occurrence of such a pers. name in English is in Holmesfield (Db), DBHolmesfelt . This is on a projection of the moors above Sheffield. It can have nothing to do with NCy holm , 'island,' it might contain holm 'hill,' again in a genitival compound of a rather more probable character, or even the English pers. name just suggested. One should remember however that its Scandinavian cognate is not out of the question in Derbyshire.

Parishes in this Hundred