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.

Great Ness

Parish in the County of Shropshire

Historical Forms

  • Nessham 1086 DB
  • Nessa c.1090,1121 SAC 1167,70,75 P
  • Nesse 1154 Strange 1341 SBL6298
  • Nesse Extraneus 1271-2 Ass
  • Ness le Estraunge, Ness Magna 1311 Strange
  • Straungeness 1318,38 Pat
  • Nesse Extranea 1334 SR
  • Erlusnesse 1345 SBL3611
  • Straungenesse 1382 Cl 1401 Fine
  • Nesse Lestrange 1428 FA
  • Nesse Le Straunge 1431 FA
  • Straunge Ness 1439 Cl
  • Greatenesse, Nestrange 1553 Pat
  • Nesse Magna 1577 Saxton
  • Nesse Strange 1657 SBL6397 1782 SBL4149
  • Great Nesse 1672 HTR
  • Nasse 1291-2 Ass
  • Neysse Le Straunge 1305-6 Ass
  • Nesse alias Nessehome 1323 Ipm
  • Nessehome 1323 Ipm


OE  ness 'ness', which is used in place-names for coastal promontories and for dry ground jutting into marsh, only occasionally for striking inland hills, like Totnes D. The ridge of Nesscliff may have been thought of as a promontory jutting into marsh, or it may have seemed to deserve this special term because of its short, 'nose-like' shape, which contrasts with the longer ridges characteristic of central Shropshire.

The place is frequently referred to as Great Ness (e ) otherwise Ness (e ) Strange in 18th-cent. sources. The Lestrange family obtained the manor in the mid-12th cent. In 1086 Earl Roger of Montgomery held Great Ness in demesne, and Erlus - in 1345 may refer to this. Nesham in DB is here treated as an oblique case of the Latinised form Nessa . The alias Nessehome of 1323 Ipm is probably not to be connected with the DB form. There is some evidence in Shropshire for the addition of -home to names of parishes which consist of scattered hamlets.

George Foxall's TAMap shows the following divisions: Alderton, Felton Butler, Great Ness, Kinton, Wilcott, and it is convenient to present the place-name material under these. On the Index to Tithe Survey map only Alderton and Felton Butler are shown as discrete townships.

Major Settlements