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.


Early-attested site in the Parish of Godalming

Historical Forms

  • Sakelesford 1220 Bracton
  • Saklesford 1229 FF
  • Sakelsford 1288 Loseley
  • Sakelford 1288 Winton 1332 SR
  • Shakelesford 1235 Ass
  • S(c)hakelford 1241 Ass 1350 SACxxii
  • S(c)hakeleford 1272 Ass 1292 FF
  • Shakulford 1370 Ass
  • Shakl(e)forth 1589,1605 ParReg
  • Chakelford 1298 Loseley
  • Shaggleford t.Eliz ChancP
  • Sakelfoord, Sakelfard 1628–32 ParReg


The p.n.'s in Shackle - are difficult of interpretation. So far as they have been observed at present, we have (a) this Shackleford and another example supra 161, (b ) Shacklewell, a former hamlet of Hackney (Mx), with forms Shakkelwell (1530 LP) and the like, (c ) Shallcross in Chapel en le Frith (Db), with early forms Sachalcros , Schakilcros from the 12th century onwards (v. Williamson, “Notes on Walker's PN Db” in Db . Arch. Soc. Journal 1928–9, 22–3) and unidentified scacal wic (BCS 834, 1125) in Sx, Schakelyerd (1273 RH) in Long Framlington (Nb), Shakelacre (1315 Pat) in Ealing (Mx), Shacklefield (1839TA ) in Newdigate (Sr). With these should probably go also scæceling æcer (BCS 906) in Abingdon (Berks). The only recorded sense of OE  sceacol that would be at all reasonable in p.n.'s is that of 'shackle, fetter.' One might conceive of the use of some form of chain in connection with a spring or a ford or a cross or a yard, such as would justify compounds with words denoting these objects, but such compounds with wick and acre and field seem less likely, and we should bear in mind the possibility of the dialectal shackle , 'stubble,' or of some wider, less specialised use of shackle as noun or adjective. The idea behind all these words is probably that of loose movement, and an adj. sceacol from stem of the vb. sceacan , 'to shake,' though not on record, is a likely formation. Cf. the dialectal use of the adj. shackle in the sense 'loose.' It is very difficult to say in each particular name just what significance should be attached to the element shackle .A 'shackle' ford might even be one with a shaky or loose bottom.