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 Finningley

Historical Forms

  • Alc(h)eslei, Alchelie 1086 DB
  • Alkeley, Alkelay 13 Ch 1323 Ass 1280 YI 1294 FF 1590
  • Alkle 1213 ChR
  • Alkeleg 1240 FF
  • Aulkeley 1557 FF
  • Aukelay 1537 WillY
  • Auckeley 1594 NCWills
  • Awk(e)ley 1567 FF 1574 PRCnt 1596 FF
  • Auckley 1592 WillY 1609 FF
  • Aklay 1722 PRCnt


'The glade or clearing of Alca or Alha', v. lēah . A late and rare OE  pers.n. Alca is known, but in view of its obscurity it may be merely a scribal variant of an OE  Alha , which would be a normal shortened form of one of the many pers.ns. like Alhhere , Alhmund , etc.; it would seem to occur also in Alkborough L (Alchebarge DB), which offers similar difficulties of interpretation. The early development of the fricative -h - to the plosive -k - is paralleled by Alkham K (OE Ealhham , Aukeham 1204 Pap, KPN 360), and other p.ns. like Alkington Gl (Alchmundingtuun BCS 559, Alhmundingtune ib 560, Alkminton 1194 P) or Alconbury Hu 231 from dithematic pers.ns. in Alh -, as well as Heckmondwike iii, 24infra . It may be noted that the medial -e - spellings preclude a derivation from OE  alh 'heathen temple'.