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.

Bearshank Wood

Early-attested site in the Parish of Pilton

Historical Forms

  • wood…called Bareshanke 1488 Pat 1513 LP
  • Bareshanke wood 1540 LP


Bearshank Wood is woodcalled Bareshanke 1488 Pat, 1513 LP, Bareshanke wood 1540 LP. Robert Bareschanke of Castor paid dues for his land in Pilton in the 13th cent., so that the name is here clearly derived from the sometime holder of the land (VCH iii, 129). He seems also to have given his name to a lost Bareshankhill in Castor (c. 1400Rental ). Strangely enough, we find the field-name Bareshanks in Wilby (1778 Mears Ashby EnclA ) and Bearshanks in Floore and in Thorpe Malsor (1777EnclA ). It can hardly be personal in origin in all these names.Was it a nickname for a 'barren field' with 'no ham on the shank,' so to speak?

Places in the same Parish

Early-attested site

Major Settlement