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

  • Pres 1086 DB 1327 Pat
  • Ppres 1271-2 Ass
  • Pratis 1255-6 Ass
  • Preess 1259 Ch
  • Prees 1316 FA
  • Preese 1608 PR(L) 1766 PR(StA)
  • Prese 1782 PR(L)
  • Prez 1271-2 Ass 1294 Pat 1307 Ch 1322,49,98 Pat
  • Preez 1352 Pat 1363 Ipm 1722,3 PR(L)
  • Prys 1362,1413 Pat
  • Pryse 1416 Fine
  • Pris 1429 ib
  • Price c.1540 Leland
  • Pryce 1590 PR(L)
  • Prece 1603-4 PR(StA) 1673,81 PR(L)
  • Preece 1655 PR(L) 1778 PR(L)
  • Priece 1702 PR(L)
  • de la Preez 1316 FA


There is no reason to doubt Ekwall's (DEPN) derivation of this name and of Preese La from PrW  *prês , Welsh  prys , though Jackson (LHEB p. 343) only accords it a “perhaps”. Both authorities translate the term as 'brushwood', but the modern Welsh word means 'copse, grove'. The corresponding Cornish word is also used as a simplex name. The last set of spellings represents the modern pronunciation.

ME spellings with -e - and -ee - have been listed separately, but they may be taken as representing the same sound. This must be an original long vowel, as there is nothing in the form of the name to cause lengthening. LHEB cites Prees and Preese as possible instances of English adoptions in the 7th century, after vowellengthening had occurred in monosyllables in Welsh.

The Prys , Pris spellings are not evidenced for the La name.They probably represent a separate development influenced by that of the Welsh word. Prees is only a few miles from the boundary of the detached portion of Flintshire.

ME  Pre (e )s would suggest to a French speaker the plural of French  pré 'meadow'. This has caused the false Latinisation Pratis in 1255-6 and it may be responsible for the fairly frequent -z forms.Delapre Abbey in Nth is de la Preez 1316 FA.

As treated in the tithe award the parish contains seven townships: Darliston, Fauls, Mickley, Millenheath, Prees, Sandford, Steel and Whixall. Whixall has been treated infra as a separate unit, as it is a civil parish. The townships are uneven in size, ranging from Millenheath, with only 64 numbered fields, to Prees with 1,737.

Major Settlements