Origin of Buntingford name.

By Frank Bunting

There is an old map now available for viewing online.  It was by Herman Moll and is dated 1732.  The origin of Buntingford’s name becomes apparent when one looks on this map along the road between Buntingford and Royston, so along what is now the A10.  This 1732 road largely follows Ermine Street of the Romans.  About 6 miles north of today’s Buntingford, a village called “Bunting” is shown by Moll. 

Bunting in old English means “place or people of Bunte”, so Bunting was a place of the clan whose leader was Bunte.  The Bunting surname comes from “person from Bunting”, sometimes commencing as  ”de Bunting” which is seen in early records. 

This place called Bunting (and there were others in Derbyshire and Norfolk) no longer exists, except on Moll’s map.  It seems then that there were at least 3 clan leaders in England called Bunte.  These Bunting villages or hamlets were probably seeded as Anglo-Saxon settlements that survived into and beyond medieval times.

It follows that Buntingford was the ford on the River Rib on the way to Bunting and originally was a small place relative to Bunting up the road.  Buntingford was so small it didn’t make it onto Moll’s map.  But fortunes were reversed.  Unlike the abandoned village of Bunting nearby, Buntingford is now a thriving town.

This page was added on 18/05/2015.

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  • Buntingford was a thriving town by 1732, and had a significant brick built church (St Peters) near where the main ford was that was built in 1614. The ford from which Buntingford takes it’s name was probably just south of where the church is, where Ermine St crosses the River Rib. All Herman Moll maps I can find of Hertfordshire have Buntingford prominently marked.

    By Alex (02/01/2022)