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.

Hessary Tors

Early-attested site in the Parish of Lydford

Historical Forms

  • Hysfothere, aliam Hysfothere 1240 Buckfast
  • Hysfothre, Ysfo(r)ther(e), Esforthere, Heghysfoder 1240 Peramb
  • Hysfochres (sic) 1408 Dartmoor
  • Hoggysfoder(e) 1481 Ct
  • great, little Hisworthie 1608 Dartmoor
  • Easter and Souther Hissary 1702 Dartmoor


No certain explanation of this name can be offered. It is possible that it may be a compound of OE  hīehst , 'highest,' and the word foðer found in Fatherford infra 202, but the sense of the compound is obscure. For the phonology, v. Introd. xxxiv-v.