Toft: General History
For a summary of the history of Toft,
go to the History page of the
Toft Village website.
Toft is a small village in the south of Cambridgeshire, approximately 6 miles west of the City of Cambridge; the parish is intersected by the Greenwich Meridian. In the 2001 census Toft had 219 households and a population of 583. The name 'Toft' is derived from an old Viking word meaning "curtilage," or "homestead". Toft was listed in Domesday Book of 1086 (as Tofth) then having a population of about 193.
About The Toft Historical Society (THS)
THS is dedicated to recording and preserving the history of the village of Toft, Cambridgeshire, UK.
THS has a fine collection of old maps, photographs of people and places going back more than a century, videos and audio interviews with Toft residents who generously share their memories of life in the village many years ago.
THS holds a biennial exhibition, always on a different theme.
Meetings are held informally three or four times a year. All Toft residents, past and present, are welcome to join. Just contact us.
Other spellings that occurred in feudal manuscripts include Tosta, Thoft, Thofte and Topht. Maps over the centuries also variously show Tofte (1302, 1646, 1725, 1785), Toftes (1720), Tofft (1777).
From Walter Skeat’s The Place-names of Cambridgeshire. Cambridge, Printed for the Cambridge Antiquarian Society, 1901.
“Toft is a well-known word of Scandinavian origin; the usual sense is a cleared space for the site of a house; hence, a homestead. The Domesday Book has Tofth, owing to the fact that the Norman scribes frequently represented the English t (especially when final) by th; by which symbol they meant a strongly pronounced t, not the English th. Oddly enough, the spelling Thofte occurs in 1302, where it is the initial T that is thus treated.”
See also the Key to English Place Names
Toft Historical Society