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.


Early-attested site in the Parish of North and South Hinksey

Historical Forms

  • Swineshull 1234–5 FF
  • Swyneshulle 1294 S
  • Swyneshull 1316 FA 1327,1328 Banco 1361 Pat
  • Swyneshull' 1322–3 ObAcc
  • Swynshill Feld 1497 Ipm


Swineshill (lost), Swineshull 1234–5FF , Swyneshulle 1294 S, Swyneshull 1316 FA, 1327, 1328 Banco, 1361 Pat, Swyneshull '1322–3 ObAcc, (pasture beside Oxford called) Swynshill Feld 1497 Ipm. Mrs G. Lambrick discovered the position of this place from a 'Birdseye View' (l. 16th), belonging to Brasenose College: it was immediately S. of Oxford, close to Folly Bridge, with its fields lying on either side of the causeway of Grandpont. Swineshill may have been an early name of part of the gravel spit along which the causeway was built in the late 11th cent., and the final el. (hyll ) may refer to a very slight elevation, above ground liable to flooding on either side. Land adjacent to Swynshull farme on the Birdseye View is called The Washe Meadowe . The first el., which is in the gen. sing., is either swīn 1 'pig', or swin 2 'a creek, a channel'. This latter word is apparently used in Swinefleet (YW 210) of a secondary channel of the R. Ouse. Such a meaning would be appropriate near Folly Bridge, where an island divides the Thames into channels, the smaller one on the south; or the el. could refer to one of the many rivulets which flowed under the causeway. The word has not been noted in this part of the country, but it might have been considered for Swinbrook O 383, where the stream divides into channels.

Swineshill should have been included in O, but the position of the place was then unknown, and it was assumed to be in Berks.