1) A very common place-name element, originally a homestead or dwelling-house.

The meaning is implicit in a sequence of deeds for Stockeld: 1320 'all her lands, tenements, messuages, tofts'. It remained in use in the compound ‘toftstead’ as the site of a house: 1524 An other toftestede which I have in Lownd and the land belonging therto, Clarborough

1609 one little house and a toft stead lying at the east side of the same cottage, South Cave

1653 unto John Lamm my sonne one toftlande ... to Peter Lamm, my sonne, one toftsteade, Brayton. ‘Toft’ itself eventually came to mean a small field or enclosure: 1555 I ... giue the said house, kylne, toft and croft ... to my son, Church Fenton

1578-9 I give the said house, garth & tofte ... to Francise Willson my sone

1587 my hempgarth & ij toftes in the feilde, South Cave.

spellings toftstead
dates 1314-1321 1524 1555 1578-1579 1587 1609 1653

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Photo by Kreuzschnabel CC BY-SA 3.0