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 Yardley

Historical Forms

  • Gyrdleah 972 BCS1282 c.1050
  • Gerlei 1086 DB
  • Gardelegia c.1086 EveA 1190
  • Ierdele 1220 Bracton 1275 SR 1305 Wigorn
  • Yerdel' c.1237 Bodl43,44,45
  • Jordele 1255 FF 1259 Pat
  • Zerdeleye, Gerdeley 1291 Tax
  • Yerdeleye c.1300 BM 1478 Pat
  • Erdeley 1478 Pat
  • Yardeley 1541 BM


This name must be a compound of OE  gyrd , 'yard, rod, twig' and leah. It is difficult to say in what sense gyrd can be used in this compound, perhaps that of 'twig, stick' is the likeliest, hence 'twig-clearing.' Cf. Yardley (So), KCD 816 Gyrdley , Yardley (Ess, Nth). It might however refer to some boundary- mark, cf. Stalybridge (Ch), Staveley (La) and Staveley (Db).Ekwall (PN La 29) suggests that here we have a compound of OE  stæf , 'staff, stave,' used in the sense suggested. In gyrdweg (BCS 955) and gyrdford (BCS 778) it perhaps refers to a road or a ford marked out by stakes or something of that kind.