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.

Wythemail Park Fm (, Withmale)

Early-attested site in the Parish of Orlingbury

Historical Forms

  • Widmale 1086 DB
  • Wismalua 1130 P
  • Wizmalua 1156 P
  • Wimalue 1220 Fees
  • Wymale 12th Survey
  • Wymall 1284 FA
  • Wythemal(e) 13th PeterbB 1330 Ass 1330 Cl 1428 FA
  • Wyth- 1571 Recov
  • Wimawe, Wymawe 1235 Fees 1240 FF
  • Wydemawe 1247 FF
  • Whitmal' 1285 Ass
  • Wethemale 1316 FA
  • Wythmale al. Wymale 1565 ADv
  • Wilmer 1791 Bridges


This is a difficult name. Possibly it should be taken with Mawsley supra 128, for which, when used as a hundred-name, we have an early form Maleuesle . Professor Ekwall suggests the association of the two names, and would take malue in Wythemail to be the dative of a lost OE  *mealo , gen. sg. mealwes , cognate with ON  möl , fem., Swed mal , masc., 'stones, gravel.'Mawsley and Wythemail are a few miles apart, Mawsley being on, and Wythemail at the foot of a well marked oolite ridge. It is possible that this, from its stony character, was once called OE  mealwe (dat.), ME  malwe . Mawsley would in that case be the leah or clearing belonging to this ridge; Wythemail might be explained as describing the place which was wið or against such a ridge. No other examples of wið -compounds have been noted in English p.n.'s, but compounds with other prepositions such as æt , bi , bineoðan , are common and Marstrander (Norsk Tidsskrift for Sprogvidenskap vi, 125, 175) has noted similar compounds of ON  við in Iceland and in Scandinavian p.n.'s in the Isle of Man. A further example of the use of this word malwe is found in a field-name le longemalewe (now Long Mollow) in Yelvertoft (13th AD iv), presumably descriptive of a long stony field, while a Long Mallows survives in Clipston.

Places in the same Parish

Major Settlement