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.


Major Settlement in the Parish of Whilton

Historical Forms

  • Woltone 1086 DB
  • Wlton 1247–50 ADi
  • Whelton 12th Survey 1401 Cl
  • Wheelton 1382 ADiv
  • Wheleton 1408 ADiv 1428 FA
  • Whywelton 1282 Ipm
  • Weulton, Welton 1295 Ipm


The forms make it likely that this is a compound of OE  hweogol , 'wheel' and tun, hweogol appearing in ME  as weole , wel , whewel . If so, the place probably took its name from the circular hill on which it stands, lying between two streams, or it may be that the term wheel was part of the name of the curving stream here, cf. hweol -riðig (BCS 216). For wheel in place-names cf. Wheelden (PN Bk 212) and Whilborough (PN D 515). We may note also hweogol weg (BCS 246) and sceard hweogol (BCS 782), but these cannot be identified, and it is not certain that they are applied to topographical features.

Places in the same Parish