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.

Little Wenlock

Parish in the County of Shropshire

Historical Forms

  • Wenloch 1086 DB
  • Parva Wenlok' 1190 SAC 15th
  • Parva Wenlac 1232 Cl
  • Wenloke Parua l.13th ForProc
  • Parva Wenloc' 1334 SR
  • Wenlok Parva 1535 VE 1577 Saxton
  • Littell Wenloke 1609 PR(L)
  • Little Wenlock 1679 PR(L)
  • Parua Weneloc c.1200 ForProc
  • Parua wellok' 1271-2 Ass
  • Little Wendlock 1692 PR(L)
  • Wendlock Parva 1706 PRShifnal


This can only be the name of Much Wenlock transferred to what was presumably a new settlement on the north-west border of its territory established by the religious house. DB notes that Little Wenlock had belonged to St Mildburg's church before the Norman Conquest. In some instances of name-sharing by settlements it can be shown that they are both (or all) using a district-name, but that explanation does not suit here as Little Wenlock is five miles away and in different terrain, on the other side of the R. Severn.

The forms mirror those for the parent settlement, exhibiting the variation of -loc - with -lac -, the occasional parasitic -d -, and Wellok ', in which -n - has been assimilated to -l -.

The area treated here is that of the civil parish as shown on the 1963 OS Diagram of Shropshire. All references to VCH for this parish are to Vol XI.

Places in this Parish