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 Kirdford

Historical Forms

  • Slefhurst 1199 FF 1327 SR 1433–50 ECP
  • Slefherst 1340 NI
  • Selfhurst 1230 P
  • Slifhurst, Slyfhurst 13th Perc 1296 SR 1308 FF 1332 SR


This is a difficult name. It is difficult not to think that the first element is the OE  slȳf , sliēf , 'sleeve,' but it is impossible to say just in what sense it may be used. Slifehurst lies in a well-marked hollow which may possibly have suggested a sleeve.Another possibility is that the word slief may have been used in some such topographical sense as 'slippery place.' The idea behind the word sleeve itself is that which is 'slipped' on.v. hyrst . Sleeve in St Ive (Co) similarly lies in a hollow, t. Hy 1 (1348) Pat Slive , and cf. Slefhurst in Ewhurst (Sr) t. Hy 3 BM.