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.

Munslow

Parish in the County of Shropshire

Historical Forms

  • Musselawe 1203–4 Ass 1221,1226–8 Fees
  • Minselawe 1250 Fees
  • -lau, -lowe 1358 Pat
  • Muselowe, Mansel' 1255 RH
  • Mun(s)celawe 1255–6 Ass
  • Munceloue 1261 Pat
  • Monselowe 1284–5 FA 1431 FA
  • Munslow 1317 Pat
  • Mownslow 1636 SBL6573
  • Mosselawa 1167 P
  • Mosselawe 1242 Fees
  • Musselawa 1187 P
  • Musselawe 1255 RH 1261-2,71-2 ForProc
  • Muselawa 1190,1 P
  • Munselowe 1252 Cl 1334 SR
  • Munselawe 1261-2 ForProc
  • Muncelawe 1255-6 Ass
  • Munsselowe 1271-2 Ass
  • Monselawe 1261-2(p),1271-2 ForProc
  • Monsselowe 1284-5 FA
  • Monselowe 1291-2 Ass 1394 Fine
  • Moneslawe 1291-2 Ass
  • Monslouwe 1305-6 Ass
  • Monslowe 1492 Ipm 1730 PR(H)
  • Mounselawe 1331 Fine
  • Mounselowe 1337 Cl 1571 PR(H)
  • Mounslowe 1549 Pat 1750 PR(H)
  • Munslow 1577 Saxton 1581 PR(H) 1732 PR(H)
  • Maunslow 1632 SBL8631
  • Mountslow 1749 PR(L)
  • Mulselawahundr 1187 P

Etymology

It seems best to disregard the spellings Mulslaye , Mulsleie which occur in a document printed in Eyton III, pp. 232-3. This is an inspeximus dated 1348 of a document of c.1110-15. Several of the place-name spellings are corrupt, and there may have been mistranscriptions in the inspeximus. The only other evidence noted for -l - in the first element of Munslow is a reference to the hundred as Mulselawahundr in 1187 P; the same entry has Musselawa . It is likely that these spellings either result from mistranscription of -s - or are due to interchange of -n - and -l -. The spellings for Munsley He, which DEPN brackets with Munslow, show similarly slight evidence for -l - in the first element. Ekwall's suggestion of a personal name Mundel for both place-names, while offering a welcome solution, receives little support from a full collection of spellings.

Spellings for Munsley He, though similar in some respects to those for Munslow, do not exhibit metathesis of -es , and the two place-names should probably be dissociated as regards both first and second elements (the second element of Munsley is lēah ). The OE  form of Munslow seems likely to have been *Munsehlāw or *Munselhlāw . The first element is entirely obscure. The tumulus (OE  hlāw ) might have been the marker for the meeting-place of Munslow Hundred. As with all tumuli mentioned in Shropshire place-names it seems to have disappeared without trace.

A form with a long vowel (spelt -ou -) in the first syllable was in use in the 14th-18th cents. Mun - or Mon - may have been associated with words like hound and pound , in which regular lengthening took place before the combination -nd . But (as so frequently in Shropshire) the obscure name Munslow was hardly affected by popular etymology; there is only one spelling with Mount -.

The complicated administrative history of the area which became the modern parish is set out in VCH X 151ff. There were two detached portions, Topley and Poston, geographically in Eaton under Heywood and Diddlebury. Topley has been included in the account of the former parish, supra , and Poston will be treated in a future volume as part of Diddlebury. This leaves four townships, Aston, Broadstone, Munslow and Thonglands, the boundaries of which are shown on Map 14 in VCH X. The TA does not show townships, but their divisions have been taken from the VCH X map for the purpose of arranging the place- and field- name material. The area treated here is that of the parish as shown on the 1963 Ordnance Survey Diagram of Shropshire. There have been some adjustments since then.

Major Settlements