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.

Selkley Hundred

Hundred in the County of Wiltshire

Historical Forms

  • Selchelai, Selchelaia, Selchelaio (sic) hundred 1086 ExonDB 1167,1168 P
  • Selkelea 1191 P
  • Selkele 1196 Cur 1316 FA
  • Selkleye 1309 Ch
  • Selkeslea hundred 1187 P
  • Sulkele 1281 Ass
  • Sylkele 1305 ib


The site of the meeting-place is not known. On the Marlborough-Broad Hinton road a mile short of the top of Hackpen is a knoll called Man's Head. It is just possible that this name marks the meeting-place (cf. Manshead Hundred, PN BedsHu 112–13). In 1279 and 1281 (Ass ) we have mention of a wood (in ) bosco de Selkele , but there is no indication where it may be. We have on record in OE  personal names Seolca and Seoloce (fem.) which may be found in the first part of this name. Hence possibly 'Seolca 's wood,' v. leah . See Addenda supra xl.