The place is first mentioned in Domesday Book (1086) but it was well established by then and a place of some local importance. It was probably founded at least a century earlier, more probably two centuries. It was at various times in the middle ages called Moreton Courtenay, in respect of its manorial lords, e.g. in a deed of 1348 (Feet of Fines, vol. 2 (1939), no. 1397). The first references to it as Moretonhampstead date from the late fifteenth century. No one knows why ‘Hampstead’ was joined to the name. [IJFM]