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 Wales

Historical Forms

  • æt Waleshó 1002–4 ASWills c.1100
  • Wales, Walis, Walise 1086 DB
  • Wales 13 1276 RH 1279–81 QW 1291 Tax 1293 QW 1304 Ebor 1542 FF
  • Walys 13 YDviii 1420 YI 1499 YDvi,69
  • Weles 1285 KI
  • Walse 1546 YChant
  • Wayles 1559 FF 1641 Rates


'The Welshmen', from OE  Walas (v. walh ), designating an isolated settlement of Welshmen or serfs (cf. Introd.). This type of place- name originating in a folk-name is rare, but the change from a folk- name to a place-name is paralleled by p.ns. containing -ingas , -sǣte 1 , -ware , and of course by the name of the country of Wales, which is of similar origin to this p.n. The identification of æt Waleshó with Wales is improbable for grammatical reasons; if it were identical, it should rather have been æt Walaho (wala , gen.pl.).