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 Chearsley

Historical Forms

  • Cerdeslai Cerleslai 1086 DB
  • Cherdesle(e) Hyii Ch 1313 Fees461 1235 Ass 1241,1262 Cl 1296 FA 1314 Cl 1332 Ipm 1360
  • Cherdsle 1204 Fines
  • Cherdele 1227 Ass 1255 For 1270 Pat
  • Chardesleye 1296 Ipm 1326 Cl 1505 Pat 1535 VE 1542 LP
  • Chardesle(e) 1302 FA 1332 Cl 1339 Pat 1359 Cl
  • Chaddesle 1330 Ipm
  • Cherdesley 1335,1339 Pat 1397 ADvi
  • Charesley 1526 LS
  • Cherysley ib.


'Ceolred's clearing' v. leah . Names Cered , Cyred and Kyred are found in BCS 537, 541 and 677 respectively. Searle (s.n.) suggests with great probability that these and the name Cerred found in DB are forms of OE  Cēolrǣd , and this would account for the forms of Chearsley. The l in one of the DB forms is probably an error due to anticipation of the coming l but it is just possible that it may be a last trace of the l of the full form Ceolræd . The name should have become [tʃaˑzli] but a spelling pronunciation now prevails.

The assimilation of lr to rr which ultimately produced forms like Cered , Ceored , is evidenced in this name in the first half of the 9th cent. In 845 Ceolred bishop of Leicester attests, as Ceored , a contemporary charter of Beorhtwulf King of the Mercians (Harmer, English Historical Documents , iii). It is at least a curious coincidence that this charter relates to Wootton Underwood, four miles from Chearsley. The Mercian kings had no Chancery. The charter in question, written for a local thegn, was doubtless written locally and is evidence that such a form as Ceored might have arisen in the immediate neighbourhood of Chearsley as early as 845.

Places in the same Parish