According to Nicholas Barton's history of Stouts Hill, the name of the place was taken from a family called Stut or Stout, in the 13th century. So, by the normal rules of English, it should be Stout's Hill with an apostrophe.
However, it seems that no apostrophe has ever been used in the name, by any owner or occupier of the property. So, by the full weight of centuries of tradition, the name is Stouts Hill without apostrophe.
My father always wanted to make minor adjustments to the notice at the entrance to the school so that it would read Stoats Hall.
And in my day we were told that Stoats Hill was the original name of the mound on which the house was built!
Given my poor health record during the period I was there John's Ill might have been a more fitting name
John's Ill! I like it. In my first year I was rather poorly, perhaps from the contrast between home in Nigeria and poorly-heated Stouts Hill in winter. Spent some time laid up in bed and took the opportunity to read Tolkien's The hobbit, which happened to be at the bedside. It took me some years to find out that Tolkien had written anything else.
Post a Comment