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.


Parish in the County of Shropshire

Historical Forms

  • Bodeshal' 1167 P
  • Posenhal' 1203-4 Ass 1331 Pat 1348
  • Posanhale 1291-2 Ass
  • Posenhall 1535 VE
  • Pesenhal (p), Passsnhal' 1255-6 Ass
  • Possenhal' 1261-2 ForProc
  • Possenhale 1271-2 Ass
  • Posenall 1672 HTR 1733 PR(H)


'Possibly 'hollow shaped like a bag'. There is an OE  word pusa , posa , 'bag, scrip', and the gen. of this would be a suitable first element for a compound with halh 'nook'. The topography of the area is much broken. DEPN cites the form Pesenhale from 1255-6Ass in support of a derivation from peosu 'pease', but the -e - in this form may be a scribal error for -o -.

The local pronunciation is [pɔznəl].

The tiny civil parish, which was absorbed into Barrow in 1966, represents part of a former chapelry and township in Much Wenlock.The chapel, mentioned in 1331, had disappeared before 1618, and the untithed part of the township became extra-parochial before acquiring civil-parish status in the 19th cent.