Whatton through time
Whatton (or Whatton-in-the-Vale) lies in the Nottingham portion of the Vale of Belvoir approximately three miles east of the ancient market town of Bingham.
The generally accepted origin of the name Whatton is that proposed by the English Place Name Society (‘EPNS’). Their interpretation is that the first part ‘What’ is a corruption of Wheat (as in Wheatley, Notts) with the Saxon suffix of ‘ton’meaning farm or settlement. This would describe Whatton as being a Wheat Farm or Settlement. Given that the area was never heavily wooded and the quality of the land it would seem to be a fair description.
The earliest reference to Whatton in the Vale dates from 1375 and the ‘in-the-Vale’ suffix first appeared in 1783.
Irrespective of its meaning the Whatton name appears to be Early Saxon/Dane in its origin. Other names in the parish appear to have their roots in the Dane or Saxon language. The River Smite is almost certainly Germanic and its alternative name Cockerbeck is a fusion of both Danish and Saxon words.
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