About The Snorings

Great Snoring RectoryThe Old Rectory (The Manor House) Great Snoring

Origin of the Snoring Placename

Great and Little Snoring seem to owe their names to the Anglo Saxons:

Ekwall's "English Place Names" gives the origin of the name Snoring as the settlement of Snear (meaning swift, bright or alert) and traces it back to the Saxon invasions from 450AD.

The Angles, Saxons, and Jutes came from Denmark and the coast of Germany and Holland. The Anglo-Saxons named their new country Engaland (the land of the Angles) and their language was called Englisc (what modern scholars refer to as 'Anglo-Saxon' or 'Old English'.)

Most place names in Norfolk and Suffolk were originally given by the Anglo-Saxons. The Old English words that they used in the place names are far too numerous to list here. A few of the common Old English place-name elements are given below:

  • burna (-borne) a brook, stream
  • dun - a hill
  • eg (-ey) an island
  • halh - a nook, corner of land
  • ham - a homestead
  • hamm - an enclosure, water-meadow
  • ingas (-ing) the people of ...
  • leah (-ley) a clearing
  • stede - a place, site of a building
  • tun - an enclosure, farmstead
  • well - a well, spring
  • worth - an enclosure, homestead

Therefore, as far as can be established, the Snorings were the INGAS (place of the people of) SNARE or SNEAR.

In the 14th century, we find various members of the landowning gentry who have the name "De Snoryng" and who are carrying on the tradition begun by Snare's people:

Merchant and jurat William de Snoryng survived the Black Death only to be ruined by £100 damages awarded against him in a suit brought by Sir John de Gannok. In the archives we hear of Gilbert Snoring who disputed with John of Briston and others over lands in Great Snoring; and "Alice, relict of Geoffrey Snoryng. v. Geoffrey Spyrlyng, feoffee to uses: Messuages and land in Great Snoring (Mekyl-snoryng) and Thorpland Norfolk. "

In King's Lynn, Norfolk, amongst the Officers of the Borough Government (Chamberlains) were Simon de Snoring (1336-37) and William de Snoring (1339-40)

So we can safely say that the curious name of SNORING came from the tribe of Anglo Saxons who gave the area their family name.

However, other theories have been put forward in the past.

It was thought there was some link to the Danish goddess Snora, since there was reputedly a battle  fought at Thursford (Thor's Ford).

Others say that the name comes from the DeSnarynge family who once owned the Manor House in Great Snoring (The Old Rectory pictured above and see separate page). But this does not take into account the early history of Great and Little Snoring.

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Find your ancestors in Norfolk Parish Registers and Records for Norfolk Ancestors and Genealogy for Norfolk The Family Trees of Norfolk Church Records of Gt & Lt Snoring Norfolk Great Snoring Memorial Inscriptions


The Snoring Villages: a website for those researching their family trees, and for anybody curious about the history and whereabouts of these two small villages in Norfolk, UK.

Contact The Snorings

I no longer live in Norfolk. I cannot visit graves, make local enquiries or provide contacts for you. Please be aware that I have no information other than that on this website..

Address: Derbyshire, England
Telephone: Unavailable
E-mail: tricia (at)