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Was there a Kingshott Village?

 In around 2007 I had been shown a map which contained what appeared to be a village, or at least a hamlet, called Kingshott. It was very close to the village of Greatham in Hampshire, England. I had heard faint rumours of such a place, principally from Jim Kingshott, who assured me that it was "somewhere near Liss", but that he couldn't remember where. At last, I have found it! Well, to be honest my 7th cousin once removed, Mary Kingshott, found it! It is circled in blue on the map reproduced below.

I decided to look into this a bit further as it would be fairly significant if there was a village of that name. Who was it named after? Or, conversely, were we named after that village?


Now there were certainly Kingshotts in Greatham, notably the family of our famous convict, John Kingshott, but there were also other Kingshotts from almost all of the nearby villages. This is also very close to where we all seem to originate, Fernhurst, which is visible to the bottom left of the map above. So have I got it wrong? Were we actually from the village of Kingshott?


If you were to look on a modern day map you can't see Kingshott anymore. It does not seem to exist. There is, however, a property called King's Holt which sounds suspiciously like Kingshott to me. So, I had a look in the book "A History of Greatham" by Peter Gripton. This has a piece on King's Holt, and states that the property is "only around 100 years old". No mention of Kingshott though, so I had to look elsewhere.


I therefore looked at a website specialising in old maps (see here) and tracked back in time. In 1914, the area in question was called King's Holt. Notice that this is two words.

Moving back to 1895, the area was called Kingsholt. My proposition was that this was simply a mis-spelling of Kingshott.

Kingsholt 1895.JPG

This has now been shortened to one word. The revelation comes when you view an 1874 map. This has a large area cordoned off and marked as "Kingshott Inclosures". 


Kingshott Inclosures 1872.JPG

So, the etymological evolution in this case only is clearly (1) Kingshott (2) Kingsholt (3) King's Holt.


I have no idea, yet, who owned Kingshott Inclosures and who therefore gave his name to the area and present-day house but it is interesting to note that there also seem to be both Kingshott Villa's and Kingshott Cottages in present-day Greatham.

What this does show is that this was not a lost village called Kingshott and that we did not get our name from this location. As was often the case, it was the Kingshott family that gave its name to the location. It is sad that it has been changed to King's Holt though, and I think there should be a campaign to have its name returned to its original format! 




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