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 Esher

Historical Forms

  • (to) Æscæron 1005 Eynsham 12th
  • Esshere 1062 KCD812 13th Chertsey 1100–29
  • Essiere 1212 Fees
  • Esser' 1229 Cl
  • Eyser', Eiser' 1230–1 Cl
  • Esschere 1233 FF
  • Esheere 1610,1623 SR
  • Aissela 1086 DB
  • Assere 1242 Fees
  • Asher, Ayssher 1509 LP
  • Aschere 1524 SR
  • Asshire 1538 Rental
  • Aissher 1544 LP
  • Essherwatevill 1344 Pat
  • Eshere Watervyle 1384 FF
  • Esshere Episcopi 1404 FF
  • Watterfall Esher 1680 Seller
  • East Hair 1728 Cox 1749 B
  • Watervile in 1086 (DB)


The complete absence of early forms with final ora , ore makes it impossible to believe that this name can derive from OE  æsc and ora , 'bank.' The OE form, though not from an original document, is found in one upon which we can rely as containing many contemporary forms. It may be suggested, therefore, that this is really a compound of æsc and scearu , the form scæron being a late weak dative of the strong fem. noun scearu , denoting 'a division.' This word, like its OS  cognate scara , may have had the sense 'share in a common field,' and æsc -scearu have denoted one distinguished by its ash trees. The precise sense of scearu in this name it is now impossible to determine. It should be noted that, apart from this name, scearu has only been found in the compound landscearu in English p.n.'s. See PN D 215s. n. Landskerry. One manor was acquired by the Bishop of Winchester in 1245 (Pat). The other was held by William de Watervile in 1086 (DB).