ESSEX-UK-L ArchivesArchiver > ESSEX-UK > 2006-06 > 1151709292
From: "Colleen" <>
Subject: Re: Forty Acre Lane, Canning Town, West Ham, Essex
Date: Sat, 1 Jul 2006 00:14:52 +0100
References: <00b001c69bc0$c43101d0$385d8b56@DiningRoom> <000801c69bc3$19bf4010$0301a8c0@Gwenda> <002401c69bc7$ac4c5a40$0202a8c0@Vaio> <20060630162915.DDF8C5307F@webmail219.herald.ox.ac.uk> <001701c69c82$39ff9310$0301a8c0@Gwenda>
The name Little Forty Acre Cottage could, as you suggest, have referred to a
cottage in a field of that name and the name could have been based on the
(original?) size of the field. However, Little Forty Acres could equally
well have been the name of an estate, house or farm etc to which the cottage
belonged. It was quite common for farm workers' cottages to be named after
the farm they belonged to in this manner. It was, and is, also quite common
in Essex for large properties or farms to have a smaller or less valuable,
sometimes associated, property or farm nearby which goes by the same name as
the larger property, but with the prefix 'Little'. Mountains Farm and Little
Mountains Farm in Great Totham are examples of this, the old houses Ruffins
and Little Ruffins in Great Totham (or Wickam Bishops?) are two others. I
still believe that the name 'Forty Acres' could be a corruption of a surname
completely unrelated to acreage.
I spent some time looking for the Grand Woods in Tolleshunt Major before I
realised that the Grand Woods Cottage I hoped I might find there had been a
farm worker's cottage on Granwoods Farm. The farm and cottage are still
there, but the name of the farm has been changed. Grand Woods was a
corruption of the name of the name of a long dead owner of the farm - which,
in itself, could have been a corruption of, say, an old Norman name.
The apparently obvious isn't always the case.
Re Alison's query about Forty Acre Lane, West Ham, I wonder if there's a
museum in the area which might be able to help you with possible house
numbering changes? Also, I don't suppose it could be the schedule numbers
you're reading? Those would change from census to census and would not
relate to the house numbers which often aren't given.
----- Original Message -----
From: "C P Biggam" <>
> ***Adrian, thanks for your reply. I'm sure you're right that it's a field
> name - I was wondering if there was some kind of agricultural standard
> involved. My query concerned Little Forty Acre Cottage, so the 'Little'
> presumably applied to the cottage, not the acres.
> ***Yes, Adrian, the above *is* confused. People didn't stop speaking
> Celtic languages when the Romans invaded in 43 A.D. The Pictish language
> is now believed to have belonged to the Celtic language family. Celtic
> languages and dialects in Britain didn't all "become Cornish" followed by
> the development of Welsh (which is what you seem to be saying). The early
> Celtic languages in Britain produced Scots Gaelic, Manx Gaelic, Cumbrian,
> Welsh and Cornish which were once all contemporaneous.
> Anyway, if anyone knows anything about field sizes, do feel free to
> contact me off-list, as I don't think this relates to Essex specifically.
> All the best,
> Dr C P Biggam, FSA
> Dept of English Language
> University of Glasgow
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|Re: Forty Acre Lane, Canning Town, West Ham, Essex by "Colleen" <>|