Sussex Place Name Derivations

This section of the site deals with the place names found in Sussex and records of their derivations. We are fortunate in Sussex to have a wealth of research material on the Subject with references back to the Domesday book and beyond. The list of names at the end of this page point to pages for individual places with references to name derivation information.

Sussex was originally Suosexe or Suoseaxe, then Suoseaxnaland, meaning the land of the South Saxons. Many names in Sussex are Saxon names, the Saxons having invaded in 477AD, settled the lowlands of Sussex and named most of what we see today. When the Normans invaded in 1066, their manors provided a few new names, but the Saxon names were mostly kept and recorded in the Domesday Book, although probably not correctly, by the Normans. The people wandering the countryside collating all the information for the Domesday Book would have written down the names as they were told by the locals with their thick rural Sussex accents. Modern problems have been caused by the Ordnance Survey who got several names wrong and appeared to make quite a few up as they created the maps we see today. Unfortunately, most people have only these maps to go by.

Place Names

Other Place Name Notes


  • Glover, Judith : Sussex Place Names, Countryside Books 1997
  • Mawer, A. & Stenton, F.M. : The Place Names of Sussex (Parts I & II), Cam. UP 1929
  • Morris, John (Ed.) : Domesday Book (Sussex), Phillimore 1976
  • Parish, Rev W. D. & Hall, Helena : Sussex Dialect Dictionary, Gardners 1957
  • Roberts, R.G. : The Place Names of Sussex, Cam. UP 1914
  • Rubin, Sven : The Phonology of the Middle English Dialect of Sussex, Lund 1951
  • Various : SNQ Volume 3, Sussex Archaeological Society 1930-1931

[ Sussex Main Page ]