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.


Early-attested site in the Parish of Withington

Historical Forms

  • Willecote (sic) 1086 DB
  • Huldicota, Huldicote 1209,1220 Fees 1327 SR
  • Huldecote 1274,1344 FF
  • Hudicote (sic) 1299 RBB
  • Hildecote 1221 Ass 1303 FA
  • Hold(e)cote 13 WinchLB 1284 FA
  • Hilcote, Hylcote 1504 FF 1535 VE 1540 MinAcct 1543 AOMB


This name presents phonological difficulties. If the first el. is OE  helde, or rather late WSax  hylde 'slope', which Ekwall suggests, the Hulde -, Hilde - spellings could be accounted for; it is doubtful whether a late WSax form would be found in regular colloquial use as far north as this, though the nearby Shiptons (180–1supra ) contain WSax forms. Alternatively we may have an OE  hylda which would explain the forms; such a word, which is not otherwise known, would be a derivative of OE  hyldan 'to flay, skin', hold 'carcase' and holdian 'cut up', and would, like another derivative hyldere , mean something like 'skinner' or 'butcher'; a verbal substantive hylding 'skinning' (which first appears in ME in Trevisa, cf. NED s.v. hild ) would also be possible, as there is some ambiguity in the interpretation of medial -i - (cf. Phonol. § 49). 'Skinner's cottage' or 'shed where skinning was done', v. cot .