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.

Kirk Ella

Major Settlement in the Parish of Kirk Ella

Historical Forms

  • Aluengi 1086 DB
  • Heluiglei 1156–7 YCh354
  • Aluelay 1070–83 Selby
  • Alvele c.1400 Melsa
  • Eluele, Elvele, Elueley(e), Eluelay 1189 Selby 1199 FF 1496 FoxReg
  • Est Eluele 1333 SR 1371 FF
  • Elueslay, Eluesleya late12th Selby 1220–30 BM
  • Elvetele 1200 Cur
  • Elitele 13th YD
  • Auuele 1265–75 BM
  • Esteluelle 1305 YI
  • Ellay, Elley 16th BM
  • Kirk Ellay, Kyrk Ellay 1447 Pat 1462 FF 1604
  • Kirkella 1594 FF


'Ælf (a )'s clearing,' v. leah . There is a suggestion in the DB spellings and the form Heluiglei of an original ing (v. ingtun and cf. Catwick supra 73). If the spellings Elvetele and Elitele really belong here, they show some confusion with OE  ælfitu 'swan' found in some place-names such as Eldmire (PN NRY 184), etc. or with some of the spellings of Elloughton infra 220.The development of Ælf - to ME  Elv - is normal in the North.'Kirk' (v. kirkja ) to distinguish it from West Ella infra 218.There are many references to the church here from the time of DB.

Places in the same Parish

Early-attested site

Major Settlement