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.

Martinsell Hill

Early-attested site in the Parish of Pewsey

Historical Forms

  • Mattelesore 1257 For 1300 Stowe
  • Mattelesore 1280 FF
  • Matlesore 1302 Pat
  • Matelsore 1339 For
  • Matteleshora 1370 Ipm
  • Martinshall hill 1549 WMxiii


The second element in this name is clearly ora, 'bank.' The first element must be associated with the OE  name for the camp which stands on the top of it, the Mætelmesburg of the Pewsey charter (BCS 784). The full name for the ora was doubtless Mætelmesora , i.e. 'Mæþelhelm 's bank.' The development of the name may have been affected by the neighbourhood of motenesora (see under Oare supra 325) which really forms part of the same ridge as it curves round to the west.