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 Halsham

Historical Forms

  • Halsaham 1033 RegAlb 14th
  • Halsem 1086 DB 1288,1294 YI
  • Halsam 1086 DB 1180–97 Melsa 1482 Test
  • Est Halsam 13th Bridl
  • West Halsam c.1265 KF 1290 YI
  • Halsam in Holdernes 1407 Test
  • Halsham 1190 YCh 1301 Langd 1828
  • Halsham in Holdernes 12th Meaux
  • Est Halsham, West Halsham 1285 Ch 1350 Ipm
  • Halscham 1185–95 Bridl
  • Est Halsaim, West Halsaim, Halsaim, Est Halsaym, West Halsaym, Halsaym early13th YD 1285 KI 1297 LS
  • Hausaim early13th YD
  • Haussam 1204 Ass
  • Hausham 1212,1234 FF
  • Halseham 1429 Test
  • Holsham 1433 HMC(Bev)
  • Lachemar and Crakholmlak (13th Bridl)


It should be noted that spellings with -(h )aim for the common ending -ham are not frequent in ERY and are usually found only when the place-name as a whole may be of Scandinavian origin (cf. Lindkvist 58–63). It would seem therefore that in such names (Hollym supra 26, Kirkham infra 143) a Scandinavian source is probable for the first element. OScand  heim is commonly compounded with significant words, as Lindkvist's examples show, and it is probable that the first element of Halsham is OScand  hals 'neck,' used in Norway of 'a low col separating two valleys' and also of 'a narrow piece of land between two lakes' (Indledning 53). Cf. cult. super Halse (13th). It is difficult in view of drainage operations in later times to be certain of the precise application of hals here. The church stands on a rise between two streams, which have probably carried away the waters of ancient lakes called Lachemar and Crakholmlak (13th Bridl). 'Homestead on the neck of land.'

Places in the same Parish

Early-attested site