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.

Weoley Castle

Early-attested site in the Parish of Northfield

Historical Forms

  • Welegh, Weleye 1264 Pat 1275 SR 1276 RH 1292 Misc 1300 Wigorn
  • Woley 1273 Ipm
  • Wleye 1323 Ipm
  • Wheleye 1327 SR
  • Weolegh', Weoleye 1370 ADiv 1386 FF 1420 Ipm


It is clear that this is the same as Willey (Sr), Weoleage in BCS 627, and an unidentified weoleage in Ha (KCD 712), and that in these names, as in Weedon (Bk, Nth) (cf. PN Bk 85), we have reference to a clearing where heathen worship of some kind was once carried on, the first element being the OE  wīg , wēoh , 'idol,' probably also 'temple,' v. leah . Cf. Arrowfield Top supra 333.