Staple Hill is a suburb of Bristol, located in South Gloucestershire, England. It is situated to the north-east of Bristol, east ofFishponds, south of Downend, west of Mangotsfield and north of Kingswood.
The name Staple Hill is believed to refer to an old boundary mark, incorporating the Anglo-Saxon word stapol or post. As far as modern Staple Hill is concerned, the name relates more firmly to the hill than the standing stone since Staple Hill was part of the ancient parish of Stapleton, Bristol (from Old English ‘ton’ – farm – and Old English ‘Stapol’ – standing stone). Stapleton’s Old English place name elements suggest that it was an Anglo-Saxon hamlet although it was not mentioned in any land charter until 1208 when Stapleton, Bristol was still a tiny hamlet on the edge of a huge forest.
Staple Hill, therefore, may have meant the hill near to the staypole farm. The reason Staple Hill was not mentioned in the Doomsday Book is that the current settlement there did not develop until much later – as late as 1610, Staple Hill is shown on maps as a landmark rather than a settlement. In fact people were on pain of death or mutilation prevented from settling as the area was part of the Royal Forest of Kingswood – preserved exclusively for royal hunting. These royal privileges were actively enforced from an early date by the Constable of Bristol who was also the Chief Ranger of the King’s Wood. This legal position goes back to at least 920 when the Anglo-Saxon Chief Ranger, Ælla, died although the veracity of this relies upon a 15th century poetic source.
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