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Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 73 - 1959  pages 62

A Survey of Kent Place-Names.

By P. H. Reaney, Litt.D., Ph.D., F.S.A., F.R.Hist.S..

THE English Place-name Society began a Survey of English Place-names in 1924 and has now published 29 volumes covering 19 counties and two of the Ridings of Yorkshire. In general, the policy has been to deal first with those counties on which no work had previously been done and secondly with those for which there was only an inadequate or incomplete survey, leaving until later those like Lancashire, Northumberland and Durham, the Isle of Wight and Dorsetshire, for which reliable books were available. Kent comes under the last class. In 1931 Dr. J. K. Wallenberg published his Kentish Place-names and followed this in 1934 with The Place-names of Kent, the two volumes containing a thousand pages, a major achievement for a single individual, especially as the author was a Swede and the books were published at Uppsala. The Place-name Society’s volumes, we must never forget, are the result of co-operative effort. For various reasons, a definitive book on the Place-names of Kent is unlikely to appear in the near future. The county is large and vast quantities of material must be searched; the Anglo-Saxon Charters relating to the county are particularly numerous, with many problems of identification and interpretation still to be worked out. To foster and hasten the collection of

material and to bring nearer the publication of a work we so badly need, the Council of the Kent Archaeological Society recently appointed a Place-names Committee and the purpose of this article is first to appeal to all members of the Society and others interested to support the project and secondly to indicate various ways of giving practical help.
   Occasionally one meets the objection that Wallenberg’s thousand pages make a further work superfluous. The truth is that, valuable as is much of his work, it is neither complete nor altogether satisfactory. The books are difficult to use. There is no general historical introduction, no discussion of the special characteristics of Kentish Place-names, no comparison with those of the neighbouring counties of Sussex and Surrey. There are no lists of the elements used or of their distribution, no lists of personal-names, no collection or discussion of field-names. The treatment of minor names is inadequate and often unsatisfactory. Material for these is usually to be found in such unpublished documents as court-rolls, ministers’ accounts, extents and surveys, etc., not one of which has been used. It was, of course,

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