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What does the place name Wooliscroft mean? | Williscroft, Woolliscroft, Wolliscroft and variants Onename Study
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What does the place name Wooliscroft mean?

The earliest reference to the place name is in 1136 when it was referred to as Willanes-croft (croftum). A croft is a Anglo Saxon word defined as a small enclosed field or pasture near to or attached to the dwelling house. Logically, Willanes-croft simply means the croft belonging to Willanes. David Horovitz in his work on the place names of Staffordshire considers that it is likely that the earliest spellings have transcription errors which (not unusually) confuse -n- and -v-, and that the name is from Willavescroft - ‘Wiglaf’s croft’. The medial -es- and -ddys- represent the possessive ‘his’. (David Horovitz 2001, private publication).

It has been suggested by other family history researchers that 'Willanes' is a derivative of Wulfric. Wulfric had be the Lord of Hilderstone at the time of the Norman Conquest in 1066 but he is not mentioned in connection with Aston & Walton, the Manor in which Willanes-croft was situated at that time. Likewise, earlier in the 11C Wulfric Spot had been an important Baron in the area and founder of the Monastery at Burton on Trent. It is not known where Wulfric Spot lived or died it would be tantalising to think this was at Willanes-croft. However, I think it more likely an individual with a fairly common Anglo Saxon name. 

In 1136 Ernald son Vitalis, the Domesday tenant of Hinderstone, gave “for 2s rent three waras of land, with common of pastures here, and one third of his whole demese, besides Gruets wood and Willanes-croft, to Stone Priory; excepting only his six acres in Long Furlong, and the demese meadow adjoining the orchard of his house”. 

Willanes-croft was not part of Hilderstone Manor but adjacent to it and in the Manor of Aston by Stone. 

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