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.

West Harlsey

Major Settlement in the Parish of Osmotherley

Historical Forms

  • Herlesege, Herelsaie, Herselaige, Erleseie 1086 DB
  • Herleseie, Herlesey, Herlesay 1088 LVD50d 1175–89 YCh 1206 ChR
  • West Herlesay 1316 Vill
  • West Harlesay 1365 FF


'Herel's eg.' Herel (e ) is not adduced in independent use in OE, but there is good evidence for its existence; it enters into Herleshow near Ripon (YWR), Herelesho c. 1030Gosp , Herringfleet (Sf), DBHerlingaflet , Harlingham (Nf), Herlingaham KCD 1339, At Herlinge Thorpe 582, Harlesthorpe (Db), Harlethorp 1324 Ipm, Harlington (YWR), Herlintune 1086 DB. It is a diminutive form of a hypocoristic pers. name derived from OE  Herebald , etc., and corresponds to OHG  Herilo ; it is probably found as an early ME  surname in Rann ' herel , Symund ' herel (LVD 60 d , line 16).

Places in the same Parish