Ullesthorpe, Leicestershire

The first element of Ullesthorpe, in the Guthlaxton Hundred of Leicestershire, is the Old Norse male personal name Úlfr (Old Danish Ulf), an original byname meaning ‘wolf’. It was a common name throughout the Viking diaspora. The second element is Old Norse þorp ‘a secondary settlement, a dependent outlying farmstead or hamlet’.

The township names that line Watling Street and those to its north-east are predominately English in origin; however, Ullesthorpe, Catthorpe, and Bittesby are the exceptions. It is important to note that although Ullesthope has both an Old Norse specific and generic, Bitteby’s first element is Old English and Catthorpe’s is a feudal affix, which indicate only light Scandinavian settlement in the surrounding area.

Ullesthorpe and Bittesby were formally a single land unit which Bittesby was later carved out. Ullesthorpe was likely the dependent village of Bittesby, and now has a narrow reach of land to its west which runs to Watling Street.

Ascribed Culture


Viking Names


byname, Leicestershire, male_name, place-name, thorpe, Watling Street

Further information

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Image © Mat Fascione, via Geograph, CC BY-SA 2.0

Image © Mat Fascione, via Geograph, CC BY-SA 2.0

Image © Mat Fascione, via Geograph, CC BY-SA 2.0


Barrie Cox, The Place-Names of Leicestershire V. English Place-Name Society LXXXVIII (2011), pp. 204-205.