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.

Harley

Parish in the County of Shropshire

Historical Forms

  • Harlege 1086 DB
  • Harleia c.1200 ForProc
  • Herleia c.1090,1121,38 SAC
  • Herleg' 1206 Cur
  • H(i)erleg' 1221-2 Ass
  • Herle 1344,5 Fine
  • Hartl' 1237 Cl
  • Harelegh' 1255-6 Ass
  • Harelegh 1276 Cl
  • Horle 1271-2 ForProc
  • Hoorley 1780 PR(L)
  • Harenegga 1167 P
  • Hernegie 1232 Ch

Etymology

'Rock wood or clearing', from OE  *hær (only known from place-names) and lēah. Harley has hitherto been explained as 'hares' wood/clearing', with OE  hara as first element; but now that the early spellings from SAC are available it appears much more likely that the first element was hær . The spellings for nearby Harnage show a similar alternation of -a - and -e - (Harenegga 1167 P, Hernegie 1232 Ch), and this name is likely to contain *hæren, an adjective from *hær.

Places in this Parish

Field