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.

Bletchley

Major Settlement in the Parish of Moreton Say

Historical Forms

  • Ble(c)hell 1199 Ch 1265
  • Blecheleya e.13th Lil 1543 PR(L)
  • Blechcheleye 1309 Ipm
  • Bleggeleg c.1220–30 Lil
  • Bleggeleg' p.1236 Lil
  • Bledgley 1618 PR(L)
  • Blechesley c.1222 HAC
  • Blechesl' 1255–6 Ass
  • Bletchesley, Blecchesley 1389 Cl
  • Blechlegh' 1271–2 Ass
  • Blechley 1536 PR(L)
  • Blaccheleye 1306–7 Ass
  • Bletcheley 1322 Pat
  • Bletcheleye 1334 SR
  • Bletchley 1596 PR(L)
  • Bleashley 1696 SBL4992

Etymology

Second element lēah, probably in its late sense 'pasture, meadow'.First element a personal name, probably *Blecca . The personal name Blæcca is recorded, and is sometimes given as the first element of place- names such as Bletchley Bk, Bletchingley Sr, which have early forms with -a - as well as with -e -, v. PN Bk 17, PN Sr 308. There is a single -a - form for the present name, but this is outweighed by the mass of -e - spellings, and Blecca is the likeliest form of the personal name in this case. CDEPN and DEPN note the occasional forms with -s - and postulate a strong form *Blecci as an alternative, but a full collection of forms gives strong support to Blecca .