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 Castleford

Historical Forms

  • æt Ceaster forda 948 ASC l.11 D
  • Casterford c.1130 SD 1226 FF
  • Castreford Hy2 Ch 1230 YCh 1155–8 Lib 1241
  • Castelford(e) 12,13(freq) Pont 1155–8 YCh 1178–84 Ch 1328 RegAlbiii,12d 1216–56 Cur 1220 Ch 1251 FF 1528
  • Castelforth 1276 RH 1435 Baild 1506 WillY
  • Castelfourthe 1584 FF
  • Castleford 1290 Ebor 1579 Dep 1817 Langd
  • Castleforthe 1529 TestLds
  • Castilford 1399 Pat 1530 Testv
  • Castyllforth 1419 Testi


'Ford near the fortification', v. ceaster , ford . On the identification of OE Ceasterforda in ASC with Castleford, cf. Mawer, Brandl Festschrift 47. The ceaster or fortification is generally accepted as being that of the Roman station Legeolio mentioned in AntIt. At this place Ermine Street from Doncaster to the north crosses the Aire and traces of an ancient ford remain; in medieval times reference is made to the passagium or ferry of Castleford (as in 1159 Pont). In the ME period OE  ceaster was replaced by OFr  castel. The fact that castel replaces ceaster and the evidence of the occasional later spellings in Castre - show that Castleford, as we should expect, had the typical northern OE  form cæster (caster ), as in Doncaster i, 29supra , etc. (cf.EPN i, 86§3).