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 Campsall

Historical Forms

  • Cansale 1086 DB 1196 Abbr 1207 Cur
  • Camasella 1137–9 YCh1492 16
  • Camscila 1173 ib
  • Camshale 1142–86 RegAlbi,71
  • Camsala, Camsal(e) 1150–75 YCh 1155–70 1156 1208,1218 FF 1218 Kirkst 1230,1287 Ebor 1368 MinAcct
  • Camsall 14 Sawl193d 1441 DiocV 1535 FF
  • Campshale 1158–67 YChvi
  • Kamishalla c.1225 Pont
  • Kameshal, Cameshal 1227 Ebor 1230 P 1244 Pat 1252 FF
  • Cameshale 1323 Cl
  • Camesale 1264 YI 1291 Tax 1296 LacyComp 1299 YI 1335 FF
  • Camesall 1316 Vill
  • Campsale 1294 Ch 1335 RegAlbiv,91d 1336 FF 1428 FA
  • Campsall 1402 FA 1409 DiocV 1534 FF
  • Kempsall 1547 FF


The great majority of spellings points to an OE  Cames-hale . The second el. is OE  halh 'nook of land', which doubtless refers to the ground below Campsall village where the small valley of Stream Dike widens between the hills; there are two small streams flowing through this opening. The first element is difficult to interpret; but it would appear to be either a PrWelsh  p.n. Cambeis or an OE  pers.n. Cam , both of which are derived from Brit  cambo- 'crooked'. For Kempston Bd 75–6 Ekwall has proposed PrWelsh  cambeis with OE  tūn added and he thinks (DEPN) that this PrWelsh p.n. is also found in Campsall (with OE  halh added); from its use in Welsh p.ns. it would appear to mean 'bend of a river' or 'a bay'. From a topographical point of view it can hardly denote 'bend of a river' in Campsall, though if the sense 'bay' could be extended to include an inland topographical feature such as was later denoted by OE  halh , it would be formally possible in Campsall. But there is uncertainty in this extension of meaning and Campsall is perhaps better inter- preted as 'Cam's nook of land'; such an OE pers.n., recorded only in Exon DB as Cammi and in the patronymic Cameson (Feilitzen 213), is doubtless of Celtic origin; Förster, Keltisches Wortgut 213, notes the MWelsh  byname Cam (from Brit  cambo-, OWelsh  cam 'crooked'). Whether the p.n. contains the Brit  p.n. Cambeis or a pers.n. from Cambo -, the early spellings of Campsall show that here Brit  mb was assimilated to mm , later -m - (cf. Jackson 509–11).