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Archiver > ESSEX-UK > 2006-06 > 1151684955

From: Adrian Gray <>
Subject: Re: [Ess] Forty Acre Lane, Canning Town, West Ham, Essex
Date: Fri, 30 Jun 2006 17:29:15 +0100
References: <00b001c69bc0$c43101d0$385d8b56@DiningRoom><000801c69bc3$19bf4010$0301a8c0@Gwenda><002401c69bc7$ac4c5a40$0202a8c0@Vaio>
In-Reply-To: <002401c69bc7$ac4c5a40$0202a8c0@Vaio>

The only Forty Acre name I can find in Reaney's "Place-names of Essex" is a
Forty Acre Pantation in Ramsden Crays, dated at 1777 - meaning it is first
recorded on Chapman and Andre's map.

I know fanny adams about Canning Town or Dovercourt geographically, but Forty
Acres sounds like a field name and, at that size, possibly after the
parliamentary enclosures of the 18th and early 19th century. Little Forty Acres
might be an ironic version coined by a resident who had once lived at a bigger
Forty Acres? But I am guessing wildly here!

Dovercourt begins with Dwr, which is Celtic for water - so dates to Roman or
pre-Roman times. And, to my delight, the Pant (which I fell in once) is also a
celtic name, once applied to the whole Blackwater rather than just the tributary
as today.

I can just imagine the two old boys sat outside the Red lion with their pints
going "Romans are crossing the Pant there look you, if we let one in we'll have
the whole lot and we'll never get shot of them, bach!"

(Confused? Pre-43AD the whole of Britain bar the picts is thought to have
spoken a celtic tongue that later became Cornish and survives to this day as Welsh)

In message <002401c69bc7$ac4c5a40$> "Colleen"
<> writes:
> I would have thought that was very likely...if it wasn't for one of our
> irritating - or interesting dependng how you look upon it - habits over
> here. over the centuries we've tended to mutate our place and surnames. Its
> quite common for names of, say, Saxon, Roman, Norman or whatever origin to
> have been anglicised and - by a process akin to Chinese whispers - for the
> spelling to have gradually morphed into the nearest English equivalent of
> the original name. Sometimes the transformations are quite weird and
> wonderful and don't have much resemblance to the original name. So Maeldun
> (meaning cross on a hill) became Maldon, which means nothing. Don't know if
> this might apply to Forty Acres, but imagine it could.
> Colleen

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