Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

RUTLAND - What's In A Name

By Diane McCallum

Did you ever wonder how our town got its name of Rutland?

Legend has it that settlers from the County of Rutland in England came to America and settled in Vermont.  The westward expansion in the mid 19th century progressed and folks from Vermont moved to the Wisconsin territory taking with them the familiar name of Rutland no doubt making it seem like home.

But how did Rutland come about in England?  This history is not quite obscured by the mists of time.  Before 1086 A.D. a Saxon chieftain named Rota ruled a small geographic area.  The area appears in the 1086 tax rolls (yes, taxes even then) as Roteland.  Two centuries later it became the smallest county in England.  It stayed in existence until being swallowed up by a nearby county in the 1970's so that a man-made lake could be built as a reservoir.

Twenty years later the persistent Rutlanders got their identity and county designation back thus returning to the label "smallest county in England".

Rutland in England is located 100 miles North of London and about 30 miles inland.

Taken from the May 2005 issue of British Heritage.