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 Coaley

Historical Forms

  • Coueleg(e), Coveleg(e), Covele(e), Covelegh, Covel', Coveley(e) 1086 DB 1150–89 Glouc 1166 RBE 1189–1200 Berk 1199–1216 13 Glouc 1220 Fees 1221 Ass 1574 FF
  • Couley(e) c.1260 GlR 1285 FA 1308 Berk
  • Cow(e)ley 1472 ADii 1479 Rent 1492 Comp 1695 M
  • Colley(e) 1535 VE 1540 MinAcct 1549 FF
  • Coley 1672 PR
  • Coaley 1731 PR 1777 M


The first el. is probably OE  cofa which sometimes appears to mean 'recess in a hill-side, a cave', but topographically this is not appropriate for Coaley, which stands on rising ground. We probably have this word in the sense 'chamber, shelter, hut'. 'Clearing with a shelter', v. lēah . The forms are difficult to separate from those of Cowley (i, 156supra ).