The Oxford Dictionary of English Place Names, edited by Eilert Ekwall in 1947, gives the following etymology for Culbone:
"Culbone, Somerset: A late name said to be from the Saint's name Columbanus. The old name was Kitnor (Chetenore in Domesday Book (1186), Kitenore in 1236) "A hill slope frequented by kites" (Old English cyta and ora)."
At the time of the Domesday Survey in 1086 the Bishop of Coutances, Geoffrey de Montbray, held large - but scattered - tracts of Somerset from King William. In turn, a Norman named Drogo held from the Bishop the manors of Exton, Wilmersham and Culbone. Drogo also held Porlock and Appley, near Wellington, from Baldwin of Exeter; and Timberscombe from Roger of Arundel.
The King's policy was to avoid any focus of power or loyalty - other than to him. The term 'manors' in the Domesday context should not be taken to have any precise meaning - perhaps merely an identifiable area of land that could be taxed.
There was no identifiable ancestor of the Kidner family in England in 1086.
An advertisement in the Taunton Courier of 20th December 1837 refers to "the parish of CULBONE, otherwise KITNER."
Last updated on 10th November 2014