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.

Younsmere Hundred

Hundred in the County of Sussex

Historical Forms

  • Iwonesmere, Hywelesmere 1248 Ass
  • Iwonesmere t.Ed1 IpmR 1316 FA 1327 SR
  • Yonesmere 1279 Ass 1482 IpmR
  • Yenesmere 1332 SR
  • Jonesmere 1428 FA
  • Yoensmere al. Ewensmere, Yonesmere 1597–1622 Rowe
  • Yewnesmere t.Jas1 LRMB


This is a difficult name but it may be suggested that the first element is the OE  pers. name Gefwine , which developed to Yewn in the same way that Lēofwine became Lewin , hence 'Gefwine's mere (or pool).' According to the record last quoted, Yewnesmere was the name of a pit in Rottingdean three miles from the manor, where the hundred-court was held. Presumably it was by a small mere. v. Addenda supra v. In 1871 (SAC 23, 231) it is said that 'within the memory of our fathers the hundred courts were held on the open downs at a place still called Younsmere Pit in Falmer parish.' Presumably it was on the bounds of the two parishes. It would be fairly central for the hundred, which in DB is called Falemere , after Falmer infra .