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.

Warshill Top Fm, Wassell Wood

Early-attested site in the Parish of Kidderminster

Historical Forms

  • Warseld 1275 SR
  • Wassall c.1780 Nash


There is an ancient earth-work here (VCH iv. 425) and the name itself doubtless records the fact. It is the OE  weard-setl , used of a guard-house or watch-tower, here employed to describe the earthwork on this commanding hill-top. Stevenson in the Crawford Charters (p. 72) shows that it may be possible to identify another weard-setl in Devon with a Beacon Hill, while the weard-setl which appears in so many Hampshire charters from the Clere district has been shown by Grundy to be Beacon Hill in that county (Arch. Journ. lxxviii. 132). A further example of this name is found in Wassel Grove and Wast Hills infra 293, 335. It is apparently a name of the same type as Totternhoe, discussed in PN BedsHu 139.