Hickling, Nottinghamshire

Hickling, in the Bingham Wapentake of Nottinghamshire, has a name that was given probably quite early in Anglo-Saxon times in Old English. It is also recorded relatively early, first in a 14th-century copy of a document originally written around 1000. The -ing suffix indicates that the name refers to a group of people, who belonged to or were named after a person called Hicel(a). It is therefore not a Viking name.

However, it is included here because St Luke’s Church in Hickling is the location of an early medieval grave-cover that is often regarded as a ‘hogback’ a type of Anglo-Scandinavian monument generally found further north (indeed this would be the most southerly example). It is quite common for sculpture with Scandinavian features or showing Scandinavian influence to be found in villages with English names, and this applies to other forms of material culture too. There is therefore no automatic connection between the name of a place and other evidence for Scandinavian influence, and this raises many interesting questions about the processes of acculturation, integration and diaspora that resulted from the Viking invasions.

Ascribed Culture


Viking Names


hogback, Nottinghamshire, place-name, sculpture

Further information

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J.E.B. Gover, Allen Mawer and F.M. Stenton, The Place-Names of Nottinghamshire. English Place-Name Society Volume XVII (1940), p. 235.