The study of place-names is an important part of local history, telling us about the language, society, landscape and agricultural history of the places we live. An organisation called the English Place-Name Society (EPNS) was set up in the 1920s with the aim of surveying the place-names of every county in England. The survey has so far produced 90 volumes, and is used by researchers, academics, and anyone interested in the origins, meaning, and significance of English place-names.
The EPNS survey of Staffordshire was begun by J. P. Oakden, and his first volume, covering Cuttlestone Hundred, was published in 1989. Sadly Oakden passed away soon afterwards, and the survey remained incomplete. David Horovitz has also published a book on The Place-Names of Staffordshire, based on his PhD thesis, which includes a selection of the county’s names.
Work on Staffordshire’s place-names is beginning again. We have a study group meeting at the Staffordshire Record Office every Wednesday afternoon (1.30-3.30), and opportunities to help with the project at other times to suit your availability. If you’d like to get involved, either come along to the study group or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.