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 Brailsford

Historical Forms

  • Breilesfordham 1086 DB
  • Brailesford(e), Braylesford(e), Braylisford(e), Braylesford(e), Braylesforth(e) 1086 DB 1138–48,1154–9 Darley c.1160 France 1162–82,1188–98 Darley late12th DbCh
  • -ll- 1285 Kniveton 1296 Ipm 1302 Ch 1319 FF 1346 Pat
  • Breileford 1166 RBE
  • Brailleford 1199,1200 P
  • Braileford 1201 1210,1220 Cur 1254–8 RegAnt
  • Breillsford late12th Okeover
  • Breylesford 1229 Ch
  • Bralesford, Bralesforthe 1330 QW 1535 Val 1577 Saxton 1610 Speed


This is a difficult name which is apparently connected with Brailes (PN Wa 276–7) and Brailsham Fm (PN Sx 406). Whilst the first element of the present example has the appearance of the gen.sg. of a pers.n. *Brægel , such a form is not only doubtful in itself but is ruled out by the name Brailes. Ekwall (DEPN) suggests that this is bærgels, brægels , a secondary form of OE  byrgels 'burial-place, tumulus' which is formally possible. If so it is 'ford by a burial place' though none has been discovered here. The suggestion made for Brailes (loc. cit .) should also be noted. It is that this is an old British name, a compound of Brit. brigā 'hill' and lisso- 'hall, court, chief place in a district'. This is topographically appropriate for the village is situated on the slopes of a prominent hill. Whatever the ultimate etymology of Brailes , Brailsford is 'ford near Brailes ', v. ford . In the first DB form a further element hām 'homestead, village' has been added though no later example has been noted.

Places in the same Parish