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 Kirkburton

Historical Forms

  • Thornotelegh 1202 FF
  • Thornetele 1208 DodsN, FF
  • Thornitelay l.13 WB9
  • Thorniceley, Thornykeley 1275 WCR 1297 LS
  • Thorntelay 1307 WCR
  • Thornecley 1316 YD
  • Thornclay 1517 DodsN
  • Thorncliffe 1524 WB12 1657 Pick
  • Thorneclifte 1637 WillY


Thorncliff, Thornotelegh 1202 FF, Thornetele 1208 DodsN, FF, Thornitelay l. 13WB 9(p), Thorniceley , Thornykeley 1275 WCR, 1297 LS, Thorntelay 1307 WCR, Thornecley 1316 YD, Thornclay 1517 DodsN, Thorncliffe 1524WB 12, 1657 Pick, Thorneclifte 1637 WillY.'Thorny clearing', from OE  þorniht 'thorny, growing with thorns', and lēah. In the dial. c and t often interchange before l (as in [titl] for tickle or [likl] for little ), which accounts for Thornclay , etc.; the later form with -cliff is an inversion for -clay , as an etymologically correct -clif is often reduced to -(c )ley .

Places in the same Parish

Other OS name

Early-attested site