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.

Wrest (Park)

Early-attested site in the Parish of Silsoe

Historical Forms

  • Wrest 1185 P 1421,1430 IpmR
  • Wrast(e) 1276 RH 1308,1324 Ipm 1329 Cl 1331 QW 1342 Cl 1354 Ipm 1388 Cl 1389 IpmR 1396 Cl 1413 IpmR 1610 Speed
  • Wrast or Rest c.1750 Bowen


This name is difficult. OE  wrǣste , 'delicate, noble,' which may form the base of the pers. name found in Wrestlingworth supra 112, seems unlikely here and Professor Ekwall suggests some other derivative of the stem of OE  wrīðan , 'to twist.'Norw  has (v )reist , 'ring made of withies.' An OE  wrǣst , 'something twisted,' may have existed, possibly in such a sense as 'thicket.' ON  (v )reistr is used of Midgarðsormr and an element vrēst may occur in Swed  names of lakes (Hellquist, Studien över de Svenska Sjönamnen , 728). It maybe added that the ground round Wrest is much broken, and 'twisted, contorted ' might be apt in a purely topographical sense.

Places in the same Parish

Major Settlement