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.

Gorwell Fm

Early-attested site in the Parish of Long Bredy

Historical Forms

  • Gorewull 1285 FA
  • Gorewell(e) 1288 Ass 1337 FF 1412 FA
  • Gorewill(e) 1353 Ilch 1382,1386 Cl
  • Gorewyll' 1353 Ilch
  • Gorwell(e) 1290 Ch 1378 Ilch 1381 Cl 1384 Ilch
  • Gorwel 1304 Hutch3 1774 Hutch1
  • Gorwill(e) 1380,1471 IpmR 1604 Russ
  • Gorwyll 1420 Ilch 1471 IpmR
  • the farme of Gorwell 1648 SC


Gorwell Fm (SY 575872), Gorewull 1285 FA, Gorewell (e )1288Ass , 1337 FFet freq to 1412 FA, Gorewill (e )1353Ilch , 1382, 1386 Cl, Gorewyll '1353Ilch , Gorwell (e )1290 Ch, 1378Ilch , 1381 Cl, 1384Ilch , Gorwel 1304 Hutch3, 1774 Hutch1, Gorwill (e )1380, 1471 IpmR, 1604Russ , Gorwyll 1420Ilch , 1471 IpmR, the farme of Gorwell 1648 SC, 'dirty spring or stream', v. gor , well(a), wyll(a). A small tributary of the River Bride rises here.Hutch3 2752 is correct in referring the second el. to 'the fine piece of water which runs at the foot of the hill near the house' but adds a footnote regarding the first el. which provides a nice example of antiquarian etymologising: 'May not the spring which gives name to the vale south of the temple [a reference to The Grey Mare and her Colts infra ] derive its name from the bloody sacrifices of the Druids, or some unrecorded cruelties of the successful enemies?' It should be noted that OE  gor 'dirt, dung, filth' only took on its present meaning '(clotted) blood' in the 16th cent.