Drayton – Name Origin

In my occasional series about the name origins of places in Norfolk, this is what The Concise Oxford Dictionary Of English Placenames has to say about Drayton. And, it’s complex, as Drayton is a common placename across the UK, with numerous reasons for the evolution of the name.

Drayton, Norfolk. Draituna in Domesday Book. 

The book goes on to offer a series of explanations, which are based around the word ‘draeg’, the Old English for ‘to drag’. So, it’s seen as a place where something has been, or has to be, dragged, perhaps a boat, or logs. It can also mean to ‘pull up a hill’, so Drayton might be explained by being on a hill. The book doesn’t give a specific reason for the Drayton in Norfolk, but I’m going with the place where wood has to be dragged. This also fits in with the village sign, unless anyone else knows better…..

As an aside, the word ‘dray’, better known as a beer delivery, comes from the word to be dragged, or pulled. It later became used to mean a sledge, and eventually as a way of moving beer.