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 Great Driffield

Historical Forms

  • Helmesuuelle 1086 DB
  • Helmeswell(e), Helmeswella 1086 DB 1156–7 YCh354 t.Ric1 Ch 1308 NomVill 1316 FF 1371
  • Elmesuuelle 1086 DB
  • Elmeswell(e) 1112–22 MaryR 1187–91 Kirkham 1598 FF
  • Em(e)swell 1518 FF 1650 ParlSurv
  • Hemswell 1546 FF 1650 ParlSurv
  • Elmeswell als. Helmeswell als. Helmeswell upon the Wolde 1598 FF


There is the same difficulty here as in Elloughton infra 220 in deciding whether initial h in the early spellings is organic.On the whole its persistence to the 16th century supports its genuineness. 'Helm 's spring,' from OE  Helm (v. Helmesley, PN NRY 71) and w(i)ella. There are many springs round about.

Places in the same Parish