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.

Whistley Green, Whistleycourt Fm, Whistleymill Fm

Early-attested site in the Parish of St Nicholas Hurst

Historical Forms

  • Wiscelea, Wisceleie a.1170 ClaudiusCix c.1200
  • Wiscelet Hy2 Gaimar
  • Wiscelea c.1200 ClaudiusCix
  • Wiselei 1086 DB
  • Wisselea 1167 P
  • Wiselega 1185 ib
  • Wyssel' 1238 Cl
  • Wysele 1281 Abbr
  • Wistle 1185 RR
  • Whissheley 1378 Pat
  • Whisley 1758 ArchJ
  • Whistley Mills, Whistley Court 1659 Bodl
  • Whistley Green 1761 Rocque


This name derives from wisc 'marshy meadow' and lēah 'clearing' (later 'meadow'), a compound which is rather common in p.ns.Other instances are: Wysshelegh ' (f.n.) Ch 1, 159, Westley Fm D 502, Wisheley (f.n.) Gl 4, 188, wiscleageat BCS 625 (a.d. 909) in the bounds of some woodland in north Ha, Whistley Fm Nth 60, Wisley Sr 155, Wistlers Wood Sr 340, Whistley Fm W 246 (where reference is made to f.ns. Whistley Leaze, Whistly Mead, Whistly Bottom, Whistle Mead). The related word wisse is probably the first el. of Wistley Hill Gl 1, 153, and a similar compound is found in Westley Sa, Wesseley , Wasseley 1230 P, with first el. wæsse 'swamp'.

This part of St Nicholas Hurst parish is described in VCH iii, 247, as 'a narrow strip of alluvial meadow land bordering the river and liable to floods'.