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.

Manhood Hundred

Hundred in the County of Sussex

Historical Forms

  • Manwuda 1170 P
  • Manwoda 1155–8 Ch 1338
  • la Manwode 1248 Ass 1283 Ipm
  • Manewude 1227 Ch 1265 Misc
  • Mannewude 1230 P
  • Mannewode 1481 Pens
  • la Manewode, Manewode 1262 Ass 1249–1303 FF 1316 FA 1351 Ipm
  • la Menwode 1279 Ass
  • Menewode 1296 SR
  • The Manhode 1610 Norden
  • le Manewodecrofte in Ernelie (ib.)
  • Manewode in 1327 (SR)


This hundred, locally called “the [mænud],” was a liberty of the Bishop of Chichester, consisting of the lands granted by Cædwalla to Bishop Wilfrid in 683 (BCS 64). The original name was probably mǣne -wudu , 'common-wood,' and must have been the name of the meeting-place rather than of the district.Such a name would be specially suitable for a hundred meeting- place, cf. No Man's Land supra 77. Early shortening of mǣn to măn soon led to confusion with the common word man . The hundred is called Somerle in DB. Presumably the meeting- place was then at Somerley in East Wittering infra 89. Mr Peckham suggests with much probability that the actual site was Hundredsteddle Farm in Somerley, cf. the same name in Henfield infra 214. Unfortunately no early form for that name has been found but steddle is a common Sussex word for the frame-work on which a com-stack is built and it may be that the word could also be used, as in Kent, of a building of timber of a more substantial character (v. staddle sb. 5 in NED). The 'Manwood' was in the parish of Earnley, for Mr Salzman points out that we have mention of la Manewode in that parish in 1335 (HMC Var iv. 107) and of le Manewodecrofte in Ernelie (ib.). Presumably it was at this place that John de Oxon' de la Menewode lived in 1288 (Ass ) and Alice de Manewode in 1327 (SR).