Tilney - what's in a name?
The following is a quote from our 2011 book, 'Tilney All Saints in Living Memory REVISED' :
The name ‘Tylney’ or ‘Tilney’ possibly originates from an Anglo-Saxon word (or name) brought by the Frisians from the south-east corner of the North Sea, plus the suffix ‘ey’ which means ‘island’, hence ‘Island of Tiln’. Historians seem confident that the original Tilney family took the name from the area rather than giving the name. In Saxton’s sixteenth century map‘Tylney’ is shown as the area immediately around the church.
Various other spellings may be found, and other suggestions as to the origin of the name, but we like the above, suggested to us by Norma Virgo. In support of this we know:
The villages and churches were built on the higher ground in the marshland landscape, so Tilney would have been surrounded by marsh, and certainly the Great River Ouse once flowed near the village.
As early as 1065 there was a 'Fredericus de Tilneia' - suggesting the village was so named before the Normans.