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.

Ford Hundred

Hundred in the County of Shropshire

Historical Forms

  • Ford' 1203-4 Ass
  • Forda 1221 Fees
  • Forde 1284-5 FA
  • Ford 1346 FA
  • La Forde 1255-6,71-2 Ass

Etymology

Named from the manor of Ford, which replaced Alberbury as the caput .

In DB the hundred which belonged to Alberbury is called Ruesset (4), Reweset , which means 'settlers by the hill'. In this name OE  sǣte has been added to Welsh  rhiw , the Welsh word being perhaps a general term for the belt of high ground traversed by the county boundary on the west side of the hundred, rather than a reference to a specific mountain.

Rhiwsǣte is an item in a line of -sǣte names extending along Offa's Dyke from the R. Wye in Herefordshire to Oswestry. These are mapped and discussed in M. Gelling, The West Midlands in the Early Middle Ages (1992). They may result from an administrative reorganisation of this belt of territory at the time of the building of the Dyke.

The history of the hundred is set out in VCH VIII, pp.178-81. (All references to VCH in this section of the place-name survey are to Vol. VIII except where otherwise stated).