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Place-names enjoy a peculiarly English fascination. Their meanings hold the key to the origins and history of a place. Some are strange, others quirkish, yet more intriguing.
Dorset is blessed with a rich variety of place-names, many of them unique to the county or made up of rare Celtic words that are now obsolete. Some are Anglo-Saxon, some Norman French or Latin.
Others provide clues about the economy of a place, even its industries, crops or soil. Yet more have links to a person or family, to now long forgotten superstitions or beliefs, to medieval punishments or pastimes.
Such is A.D. Mills’ knowledge and understanding of Dorset’s place-names that he breathes fresh life into a remarkable aspect of Dorset’s long past.
By A. D. Mills