Anglo Saxon CS Lewis Ettington giants Place names Tolkien

Ettington, the town of giants!

For my job I drive a lot. I am on the road at 6am to get to the school before 8am to teach anything from Stone Age to Victorians. Thanks to an excellent experience at the University of Wales Lampeter, I have a broad and rich knowledge of history which I can apply at a moments notice. I also have read too much Tolkien and CS Lewis. I like place names be they real or imaginary and one day as I drove through Ettington it rang a bell. The bell was with the Ettinmores which exist both in Narnia and Middle Earth. Both of which are occupied by Trolls and Giants.

Photo by Janko Ferlic on

So when I drove through the village of Ettington I got very excited. Ettin in an Old English word that only appears once in the literature. In the poem Beowulf the poet, Deor, lists all the evil creatures that are descended from Cain which include Orcs, Elves and Ettin. Ettin are usually translated as Giants so Ettington can be translated to the tun (town) of the Ettin (giants). Is it important? Probably not. Is it exciting? Absolutely.

I think it worth noting that I am sure the modern inhabitants of Ettington are probably lovely and not trolls or dangerous giants.