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 Harescombe

Historical Forms

  • Hersecome 1086 DB
  • Hersecumbe 1148–79,1253 Glouc
  • Harsecumbe, Harseco(u)mbe 13 Glouc 1222–8 Hopt 1248 Ass 1291 Tax 1324 Ipm 1597 FF
  • Harscomb(e), Harscumbe 1285 Episc 1306 FF c.1560 Surv
  • Harescumbe, Haresco(u)mbe 1294 Ipm 1327 Ch 1535 VE
  • Hariscombe, Hariscombe als. Harscombe 1462,1465,1474 Pat
  • Hascombe 1577 M 1655 PR


The first el. of Harescombe is presumably that also found in the names of Harsebrooke (infra ), Haresfield (182), 1½ miles west, and Horsepool (166 infra ), a lost fishery in the Severn 5 miles to the west of Harescombe, possibly Eastbury (184). The diversity of features described (a valley, a tract of open country and a pool in the river) does not favour the first el. describing a topographical feature common to all three (such as an OE  *herse cognate with ON  hjarsi 'top of the head' applied to a hill, as suggested by Ekwall), but there is here much in favour of an OE  pers.n. Her (e )sa which is not recorded but would be cognate with the very ancient Germanic names, OScand  Heriso fem. and Hariso (CIL v, 8750) which Zachrisson discussed in Festskrift til Finnur Jónsson (Copenhagen 1928), 316 ff. Harescombe is in the upper part of the deep valley of DanieFs Brook, v. cumb 'valley'.