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.

Furzehill Fm

Early-attested site in the Parish of Potterne

Historical Forms

  • Forsthull 1225 Edington
  • Furze Hill 1841 Devizes


Furzehill Fm (6″) is Forsthull 1225Edington , Furze Hill 1841Devizes . This name is repeated in Forest Hill (O), for which Alexander (PN O 108) gives forms Fostel 1086 DB, Fforsthull 1158 Oseney, Foresthulle 1219 Eynsham, Forsthull 1274 RH, and in Fossil Fm (PN Do 139), Foresteshull 1227, Forsteshull 1254 FF, Forstehull 1280 Ch and in a lost Fosteshulle (1292Magd ) in Wanborough. There can be little doubt that the first element repeats itself in the two examples of Fosbury infra 306, on high ground, in Foxbury in Crofton (Ha), Forstebyr '1280Ass , and in Forsham (PN K 351), Fforsthamm , ffrosteshamm , Fortesham 1261Ass (p), also on high ground. All these names taken together are, as suggested by Tengstrand (StudNP vi, 100–1), in favour of a lost OE  *forst , used specially perhaps of a ridge-like hill such as we have at Furzehill, Forest Hill and Fosbury, deriving from a stem found also in MDu  vorst , 'ridge of a roof.' See the full discussion of this suggestion by Tengstrand (op. cit .). It is related to OE  fyrst , 'top, ridge.'