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.