Greenwich

WHAT'S IN A NAME

 

The spelling for Greenwich has changed quite a few times but the meaning has mainly stayed the same: ‘green trading settlement or harbour’.

 

Gronewic – 918

First recorded in the Anglo-Saxon charter of 918. A charter was usually a recorded grant of land, privilege or gift. It was recorded because Ælfthryth (daughter of Alfred the Great) gave Lieuesham, Grenevic and Uulwich to the Abbey of St. Peter, in Ghent, Belgium.[1]

Grenewic - 964

 

Recorded in The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles.

Grenawic – 1013

 

Recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.

Grenviz – 1086

 

Recorded in the Domesday Book.

 

Grenewych – 1291

 

Recorded in the Taxatio Ecclesiastica. The name, pronounced 'green wic', indicates Greenwich was known as a -wich town: an Anglo-Saxon settlement characterised by extensive market and trade activity. The name is derived from the Anglo-Saxon suffix -wīc, signifying 'a dwelling or fortified place.

Taxatio Ecclesiastica 1291 Greenwich

HUNDRED OF GREENWICH – DOMESDAY BOOK

There were 7 places in the Hundred of Greenwich in the Domesday Book.[2] It didn't stay the Hundred of Greenwich for very long though and became the Hundred of Blackheath in 1279.

Population

Eltham                

Lewisham           

Greenwich      

Charlton          

Lee                 

Wricklesmarsh  

Woolwich          

63

62

34

15

15

13

  0

Hundred of Greenwich
Hundred of Greenwich in Domesday Book

Citations

[1] https://esawyer.lib.cam.ac.uk/charter/1205b.html

[2] https://opendomesday.org/hundred/greenwich/

General Reading

Ekwall, Eilert, 1877-1964. The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-names. 4th ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1960.

 

Taxatio ecclesiastica angliae et walliae auctoritate P. Nicholai IV circa A.D. 1291. Printed by command of His Majesty King George III. &c. &c. &c. in pursuance of an address of the House of Commons of Great Britain. 1802.