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.

Bolney Court

Early-attested site in the Parish of Harpsden

Historical Forms

  • Bollehede 1086 DB
  • Buleh' 1166 P
  • Buleheðe, Buleheða 1176 P 1315 Ipm
  • Bulehee 1200 FF 1241 FF
  • Bulehude 1235–6 Fees
  • Bulhud 1275–6 RH
  • Bulehide, Bolehide 1285 Ass
  • Bolehutha 1235–6 Fees 1316 Cl
  • Buleheze 1242–3 Fees
  • Bollude 1254–5 RH
  • Buletchurche 1316 FA
  • Bolehicch 1346 FA
  • Bulnehith 1428 FA
  • Bulnythe 1465 AD
  • Boulney 1761 Rocque


Cf. Bowney Heath 1622Bodl

Lower Bolney Fm. Cf. lower part of Boley 1551–2Survey

Probably OE  *bulenahȳð , 'landing place for bullocks.' The forms show a good deal of confusion in the second element between hȳð , and hege or (ge)hæg. The earliest forms definitely point to hȳð , however, and final ey is a not infrequent development of this element, cf. Hullasey Gl, Putney Sr, Stepney Mx. There is a preponderance of early 13th-century forms in -he , -heye , -heya which suggests that the name was sometimes interpreted as from OE  *bulena (ge)hæg, 'bullocks' enclosure.' The name of the adjacent Bellehatch Park may be a different development of the name of Bolney, with the second element interpreted as hæcc by influence of the nearby Playhatch and Hare Hatch, and the first element interpreted as French  belle .The form Buletchurche seems to be due to a combination of scribal error and popular etymology. The late re-appearance of the -n - of the gen.pl. in the first element, which has been lost in the earliest forms, is curious.