Tye is derived from Old English teag, meaning a small enclosure, but in south Suffolk, Essex and Kent it developed, from at least the 13th century, the meaning of a common pasture, becoming a synonym for a green or common (qv).  In post-medieval times the understanding of the term waned, leading to a tautological Tye Green at Alpheton and the replacement of ‘tye’ with ‘green’ in some instances.

This term is one the key indicators of the Gipping Divide, for although greens are to be found in profusion on both sides of the divide, tyes are almost exclusively to be found to the south of the divide. The only known instance of a tye to the north of the River Gipping (but less than a mile north of it) is Thorney Green in Stowupland, which is recorded as Thorney tye in 1446.

A detail of Joseph Hodskinson’s Map of Suffolk,1783, showing a profusion of tyes in south Suffolk

South Suffolk Tyes