English Place-name Society

Survey of English Place-Names

A county-by-county guide to the linguistic origins of England’s place-names – a project of the English Place-Name Society, founded 1923.


Major Settlement in the Parish of Stockport

Historical Forms

  • Merpille e13 Eyre 1287 1287 ib
  • Merpil e13 1288 1288 Court 1289 17
  • Merpill 1290 Eyre
  • Mercholl e13 Eyre 1288
  • Merpull e13 ChFor 1353–7 Eyre 1286 Court 1287 Eyre 1354 ChFor 1357 Plea 1358 1380 Dow 1492
  • Merpul 1301 ChF 1322 Mont
  • Merpel e13 ChRR 1608 Ipm 1248 ChFor c.1251 Cl 1308 Orm2 1398
  • Merple e13 ChRR 1608 BPR 1356
  • Marpell e13 LRMB200 1611
  • Merphull 1283 Ipm 1285 Court 1337,1364 Eyre 1355 MinAcct 15 Mont
  • Merphulle 1309 Plea
  • Merphul 1351 Eyre
  • Marpil 1285 Court
  • Marple 1355 BPR 1602 Sheaf 1619 ChRR
  • Marpull 1376 Orm2 1401 ib
  • Merpoll 1431 Dow
  • Merpole 1454 Eyre
  • Merpool c.1620 Orm2iii546


Marple is a difficult p.n.The township occupies a prominent hill (Marple Ridge, Hilltop infra ) overlooking the valley of R. Goyt, here the county boundary.Ekwall (DEPN), relying upon the Merphull form, supposes Marple a hill-name, with hyll (MEdial. hull ) added to a compound mǣr -hop 'boundary valley', from (ge)mǣre and hop 1 , i.e. 'hill at a boundary- valley', which exactly describes the topography here. But there are no forms with a vowel between r and p such as might be expected to represent the reduction of hop in the compound; there is no record of the original p.n. *Merhop (e ) from unmodified mǣr -hop , and further, OE  hyll is unlikely to be represented by ME  hill (e ) in this position, in this dialect, at these dates, in these records. It would be reasonable to suppose the Merphull form to be the result of a confusion of some other final el. with hyll through metanalysis (Mer-pill , Mer-pull > Merp -(h )ill , Merp -(h )ull ) and by association with the hill at Marple Ridge.The preferable etymology is that offered in Sx 386, from (ge)mǣre and pyll. The location of Marple at the county boundary on R. Goyt, and the similarity of the second-syllable forms, -pill (e ), -pil , -pull , -pel (l ), -pie , -phul (l ) to those in Crimple WRY 7124, RN 104 (add Crimpel 1213 Cur) confirm the first el. as (ge)mǣre 'a boundary', and the second el. as OE  pyll, pull , pōl 1 , probably Welsh pwll originally. Marple is '(at) the stream at the boundary', perhaps originally a r.n. for R. Goyt; cf. R. Mersey 31supra , of which Goyt is a head-stream.

Places in the same Parish

Early-attested site

Other OS name

Major Settlement