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.


Major Settlement in the Parish of Whitchurch

Historical Forms

  • Burnthale, Burnhale 1255–6 Ass
  • Bungale, Bughale 1271–2 Ass
  • Worch'al' 1327 SR
  • Borhalle 1402 Talbot
  • Burgall 1419–20 Talbot
  • Burghalle 1483–5 Harl433
  • Broughall 1712,18 PR(L)


The Assize Roll forms are inconsistent and probably unreliable as regards the first element, and the 1327 form has been transcribed, probably incorrectly, with W -. The name is probably a compound of burh and halh , but as both these elements have various meanings in OE and ME usage it seems impossible to assign a precise meaning. There is no ancient fortification which could explain burh , and the ME sense 'borough' is not obviously suitable for the adjacent Whitchurch. Two of the established senses of halh might suit. The settlement is in a slight hollow, the most frequent sense, but this is an area where 'raised ground in marsh' is also possible.

Places in the same Parish

Other OS name

Early-attested site