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 Chilmark

Historical Forms

  • æt Chieldmearc 929–40 BCS745 14th
  • Childmerk(e) 1195 Wilton 1242 Fees
  • cigel marc, to cigelmerc broce 984 KCD641 14th
  • Chilmerc 1086 DB 1166,1194 P 1195 Wilton 1206 FF
  • Chilmerk c.1190 Wilton 1289 Ass
  • Chylmerk 1302 Sarum
  • Chilmark 1306 Ass
  • Chelmerk 1279,1289 Ass
  • Chelmark 1326 Pat
  • Chelesmerke 1289 Ass
  • Chilemark 1297 Pat
  • Chilemerk 1351 Ass


Ekwall (Studies , 165) is doubtless right in taking the form Chieldmearc to be a piece of folk-etymology for the more correct cigelmearc and in explaining the name on the basis of the latter form. For this name he suggests a first element cigel , a West Saxon form of Anglian cegel (cognate with OHG kegil , 'peg, pole,' Swedish dial, kage , 'stumps') found in Cheal (L), Cegle (dat.) 852 (c. 1200) BCS 464. Chilmark must have been so named from some mark or sign formed by a pole on the site of the present village.