Kent Places and People

Pg09 (Powell Building) Powell Lecture Theatre, Canterbury Campus, North Holmes Road, Canterbury, Kent, CT1 1QU
Arts and Humanities
Saturday 12th November 2016 (09:30-16:00)
Contact the booking office by email or telephone 01227 782994
Registration URL

A joint conference between the Centre for Kent History and Heritage and Kent Archaeological Society, and supported by Kent Libraries, Registration and Archives

Place names provide valuable reminders of the past, and field names, in particular, can reveal the site of orchards, meadows and pastures that have long disappeared under concrete or tarmac, or been turned to other uses. Among examples from the Canterbury area are Solly’s Orchard, which is now a garden at Greyfriars Chapel; Miller’s Field, beside the River Stour, now mostly covered by a car park; and Beverley Meadow, St Stephen’s, that is now a public park. Similarly such places will be lost in the future, such as Chapman’s Meadow, on the Pilgrims’ Way, that is still unspoilt but is threatened by a vast 4,000-homes garden suburb, the biggest planning application in Canterbury’s history.

Looking across Kent there are plenty of other examples, such as Fairmeadow in Maidstone where the town’s fairs were held – now a multi-lane highway to the M20.

Dr Paul Cullen, an authority on English place names, and a research associate at the University of the West of England in Bristol will discuss these examples and others to offer insights into how and why such names exist. For as Paul said, ‘Some field names remain mysteries, and I look forward to answering questions from the audience’. Paul’s second talk will explore relationship surnames.

Dr Mike Bintley, senior lecturer in medieval literature in the School of Humanities at CCCU will consider Anglo-Saxon usage of the terms ‘Wics and burhs’ in Old English poetry. Other speakers will be Harry Parkin, research associate on the Family Names of the United Kingdom Research Project at the University of the West of England, Bristol, who will explore ‘Changes in the bynames and surnames of the Cotswolds: 1381- c1600: a model for Kent’ and Liz Finn, Manorial Documents Register Project Officer for Kent, who will discuss ‘Court rolls, custumals and gavelkind: Kent manorial records and the Manorial Documents Register’.

Tickets cost £12 and can be booked online or by phone (CCCU students free – Contact the booking office by email or telephone 01227 782994)


  • 9.30 Registration and refreshment
  • 10.00 Professor Jackie Eales Introduction
  • 10.15 Dr Paul Cullen Kent field names
  • 11.00 Dr Mike Bintley Wics and burhs in Old English poetry
  • 11.45 Dr Harry Parkin Change in the bynames and surnames of the Cotswolds
  • 1381-c.1600 : a model for Kent
  • 12.30 Lunch (not provided, but picnic or eat in Canterbury cafés/pubs)
  • 2.00 Ms Elizabeth Finn Court rolls, custumals and gavelkind: Kent manorial records and the Manorial Documents Register
  • 2.45 Dr Paul Cullen Relationship surnames
  • 4.00 End of conference

The Speakers

Paul Cullen

Paul Cullen is the English Place-Name Society’s editor for the Survey of Kent. Having grown up in Pluckley and Canterbury, he has somehow ended up living in Nottingham while working in Bristol as a Research Associate on the Family Names of the UK project. His academic background is in historical linguistics, especially Old English, Old Scandinavian, and Old French. He is a co-author of the ground-breaking if not best-selling book “Thorps in a Changing Landscape”, and he is known to dozens as the folk troubadour Paul Carbuncle.

Mike Bintley

Mike Bintley is Senior Lecturer in Medieval Literature at Canterbury Christ Church University, where he teaches Old and Middle English literature, and is subject lead for English Literature. He studied his BA, MA, and PhD at University College London, and wrote his thesis on ‘Trees and Woodland in Anglo-Saxon Culture’ (’09) in literature and archaeology. He taught at UCL and Oxford University before joining Christ Church in 2012. Mike is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and a Councillor of the Viking Society for Northern Research. He is author and co-editor of the following books: Trees and Timber in the Anglo-Saxon World (2013); Trees in the Religions of Early Medieval England (2015); Representing Beasts in Early Medieval England and Scandinavia (2015); Andreas: an Edition (2016); Sensory Perception in the Medieval West (2016); and Stasis in the Medieval West?: Questioning Change and Continuity (forthcoming, 2016).

Harry Parkin

Harry Parkin is a Research Associate on the Family Names of the United Kingdom Research Project at the University of the West of England, Bristol. He completed a PhD in Linguistics in 2013, looking at change in the surnames of the Cotswolds from 1381 to c1600, and has since published papers on surname history and distribution, and Middle English dialectology. He co-authored a chapter on Family Names in the Oxford Handbook of Names and Naming and is in the process of writing a dictionary of the place-names of Leeds.

Liz Finn

Liz Finn qualified as an Archivist in 1986 and has worked for the Kent Archives Service since 1999, including three years cataloguing the Chartae Antiquae at Canterbury Cathedral Archives. She was appointed as Manorial Documents Register Project Officer for Kent in September 2015.


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Last edited: 07/12/2017 14:26:00