Hareston Close

Below the eastern, extended, end of the Ridgeway and just above the Plympton Bypass is a housing estate which clearly looked locally for the inspiration of many of its street names – among them Hareston Close.

The old farm of Hareston is mentioned in the Domedsay Survey of 1086 and as it sat close to the parish boundary there was a suggestion that the name may have been a corruption the Old English ‘harstan’ representing ‘grey stone’ or ‘boundary stone’, however this would have led to a Middle English version more like ‘horestone’ and that has yet to be found on any old document relating to this place.

Alternatively it has been suggested (again in the The Place-Names of Devon by JEB Gover, A Mawer and FM Stenton) that the “first element may be hara, ‘hare’, but the sense of such a compound is obscure,” say the writers. However, elsewhere in England, Harehope is happily translated as Hare’s Valley and Harewood in Hampshire and Herefordshire is thought to be hares’ wood, so why not a stone around which once lived a number of hares?