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.

Oakley Down & Oakley Fm

Early-attested site in the Parish of Wimborne St Giles

Historical Forms

  • on litlen ac lee estward of aclee, (to) anclee (sic) estward 956 ShaftR(S630) 14
  • (æt) áclee on westsæxum c.970 DurhamRitual(SurteesSociety140)
  • camp' de Ockeleghe 1280 Ass
  • boscum de Ocleye 1288 ib
  • Ocle 1332 SR
  • Oakley Wood 1524 Hutch3
  • Okeleywod 1542 Dugd
  • Okeley 1618 Map
  • Workly Down 1811 OS


'Oak wood', from āc and lēah , with lȳtel , wudu ; in 1524, oaks in this wood were not to be felled without leave of the lord (Hutch3 3388). Ekwall DEPN may be correct in identifying Aclaeh 805 (9) BCS 321(S 161), æt Aeclea 844 BCS 445(S 1439), the name of a place where synods were held, with this Oakley, but the form (to ) acclei 944–6 (14) BCS 817(S 513) in the bounds of Damerham and Marten Ha, identified with this place by Fägersten 97, can hardly belong here. For the form Workly with prosthetic w -, v. Phonol.