birth, they may have been descendants of Leofwine,
the tenant of 1066, but the time-factor suggests that Godwine was rather
the grandson than the son of Leofwine. If so, Lyfing may have been a son
of Leofwine and father of Godwine, and we have here an instance of a
Saxon family retaining its possessions from 1066 to the end of the
twelfth century. It may be noted that Leofwine alliterates with Lyfing,
whilst Godwine contains the same second element as Leofwine, both
characteristics of Anglo-Saxon nomenclature. The name Bekesbourne is not
noted before 1270 by Wallenberg but clearly derives from the family of
Hugh del Bec (c. 1190), most probably of French origin.
Curlswood Farm in Nonington is identified by Wallenberg
with crudes silba (873 BCS 536), a name which survived as late as
1434 as Gruddeswode. The wood may well have been in this
neighbourhood; by metathesis the name may have become Curdeswode; but
no explanation of the modern form has been offered. This probably
preserves the memory of the heirs of Walter Crul "the
curly-haired" who granted 5s. rent in Ewerlande (Overland in
Ash) to the priory of St. Gregory c. 1215-27, a grant confirmed
by Adam Crul and Dionisia his wife. The cartulary gives us forms for two
names not in Wallenberg: Horton in Chartham (Hortune 1213-14) and
Isingdane Wood in Waltham (Isendan’ 1240-50) and (among others)
an earlier form for Winterage Farm in Elham: Wintering’ 1215-40.
This is clearly a singular name in -ing, not a
in -ingas. In any case, a meaning "early invaders who
wintered here" is absurd.
For Amets Hill in Stockbury, Wallenberg has only: "Cf.
perhaps Will. Amite 1327 Subs ". A surname Amite is
most unlikely. It is probably a mis-reading of Amice, from the
woman’s name Amicia, surviving today in the surnames Amies,
Amiss and Amys. In 1317 William atemethulle or ate Ametehelle
was accused of stealing a cow worth l0s. of Richard Jordan and a
sheep of Bertram Criel in the hundred of Twyferde.1
Stockbury is in Eyhorne hundred but no great distance from Twyford and
cattle-stealers would not limit their operations to the immediate
neighbourhood of their homes. This place-name is not common but is
identical in origin with Ampthill (Beds.), OE (oet) oecemette-hyll "(place
near the) ant-hill ", the first element occurring also in Antley (Lancs).
Amets Hill preserves the normal development of oemette, with a
pseudo-manorial s, as if from a surname.
Parish histories often provide valuable material
unobtainable except from the local historian with his special knowledge
of local documents and topography. Ewing’s small History of Cowden 2
provides material for no fewer than ten places still on the map
1 B. H. Putnam, Kent
Keepers of the Peace, 1316-1317 (1933),
2 G. Ewing, History of Cowden, Tunbridge