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.

Walmgate, Walm Howe

Early-attested site in the Parish of Bampton

Historical Forms

  • Walm(e)gat(e) 1366 Clib 1648 PR 1865 OS
  • Welmegate 1612 FF
  • Worm(e)how 1690,1719 PR 1865 OS


Walmgate (Walm (e )gat (e )1366 Clib 244, 1648 PRet freq to 1865 OS, Welmegate 1612FF , a farm on the road from Bampton to the foot of Hawes Water), Walm Howe (Worm (e )how 1690, 1719 PR, 1865 OS, a farm on a steep hill near Walmgate). It is possible that the first el. is ME  walm 'a surging or welling up of water, a spring', which is from a Mercian wælm (corresponding to ONb  welm ); in ME and e.ModE  the form walm has a wide provenance and the modern development walm , waum occurs in NCy dialects (EDD s.v.); the single spelling Welme -, which would formally be more correct in the north, has generally been supplanted by the commoner form Walme -. There are a couple of small springs in the area.v. gata 'road'. The spellings of Walm Howe may be attempts to represent a pronunciation Wawm - [wɔ:m], as in a few late spellings in such names as Cawdale (infra ) and others in YW like Orms Gill (cf. YW vii, 79 §6). Otherwise it is 'snake hill', v. wyrm , haugr .