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.

Great Boulsdon

Early-attested site in the Parish of Newent

Historical Forms

  • Bulesdun, Bulesdon(e) Hy2 Madox 1221 Ass c.1270 For 1291 Heref
  • Buleston' 1220 Fees 1248 Ass
  • Bullesdon 1221 Eyre 1452,1520 FF
  • Bullesden 1537 MinAcct
  • Bullesden als. Bolsden als. Boldsden 1612 FF
  • Bolesduna, Bolesdon(e) 1240 Monast c.1275 For 1374 Ipm
  • Bolesden(e) 1248 Ass 1327 SR
  • Bollesdone c.1275 For
  • Boleden' 1248 Ass
  • Bolede' 1259 Misc
  • Buleden' 1248 Ass
  • Boulsdon 1591 FF
  • Bowlesdon 1612 ib


This name presents similar problems to Bolsover (Db 214). Ekwall takes the first el. to be OE  bulan -lǣs 'bullock pasture', but a contracted gen. p.n. formation, Bulan-hylles dūn is also possible (v. bula , hyll , dūn and Bull Hill infra ); cf. a similar formation in Yartleton (192infra ). Cameron prefers an OE  pers.n. Bull or Boll , strong forms of the OE  pers.ns. Bulla (suggested by p.ns.) or Bol (l )a (Redin 85, Feilitzen 205), but so far no other evidence for the strong pers.n. Bul (l ) or Bol (l ) has been adduced. v. dūn 'hill, down'.