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.

Pontesford Hill

Early-attested site in the Parish of Pontesbury

Historical Forms

  • Ponteslith 1357,78 Pat
  • Panslith als Yerlys Hill 1539 VCH
  • Ponslithe c.1540 Leland
  • Ponslith 1589,1615 SBL6819,6822 1637 VCHVIII254
  • Le Ponslythe 1594 SBL6794
  • The Ponsort Hill 1799 Townson
  • Pontesford Hill 1833 OS


The earlier name, Ponslith , is 'Pant's concave hill'. Study of hlith names in Sa and N.He leaves no doubt that hlith is a specialised term used for hills or escarpments which have a large hollow. Pontesford Hill is a striking landscape feature with two peaks and a great hollow in its W. side.

The 1357 and 1378 refs. are to a forest, but the 1589 ref. is to the mons called Ponslith . The alternative name in the 1539 ref. has become modern EARL'S HILL, now used of the south peak.