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.

Whittlesey Mere

Early-attested site in the Parish of Holme

Historical Forms

  • Witlesmere 963–84 BCS c.1200 Rams 1146–53 Ass c.1350 1270
  • Witelesmere a.1022 KCD c.1200 Thorney c.1150 c.1300–25
  • Witelesmare 1086 DB
  • Witlesmare 1145 Cottvii.3 1189 Ch 1332 FF 1223 BM 1248–56
  • Witthelesmere 1146–53 Rams c.1350 Ass 1270
  • Witlemare 1146–53 Rams c.1350
  • Wittesmara 1189 Ch 1332
  • Wytlesmer 1260 Ass
  • Wittelysmere c.1480 BM
  • Whittelsmere 1535 VE
  • Wittlesmere 1585 FF


'Witel's mere' v. mere . This pers. name is on record (Redin 139) and is a diminutive of the rare Wita . The same name is also found in Whittlesey just over the Cambridge border and there is no doubt that Witles-mere and Witles-ig were named from the same man. The modern form of Witlesig has led to a refashioning of Whittlesmere as Whittlesey Mere . The Wh - forms are entirely modern and do not justify Skeat's derivation from an otherwise unknown Whitel .

Places in the same Parish