Welcome to the Acle Parish Council website.

Our contact details are on the right hand side of the page.

There is a new website for the whole village of Acle – take a look at



6 Responses to

  1. Peter Ackerley says:

    I have been searching the origin of my name and records show it started life as Acle in Norfolk so I was interested in knowing how the towns name was pronounced if you have the time to email it to me I would be most grateful….Peter Ackerley.

    • uptonwithfishleypc says:

      How interesting! It’s pronounced Ay (as in ABC) – c’l (as in the end of tackle)

      I understand it means land of the oaks….

  2. TomH says:

    Looking back at the probable historical pronunciation is also interesting. The village of Acle is mentioned in the Domesday Book, so the spelling of the village name was originally chosen prior to the Great Vowel Shift. The sound we now use as Ay shifted from a sound similar to the ‘a’ in the modern word ‘car’, so Acle may have originally been pronounced ‘ahhcl’. This was prior to 1400, which is about the date by which most English families had adopted hereditary surnames – a couple of centuries earlier hereditary surnames were only for aristocracy. So the original pronunciation of the leading ‘a’ in surnames derived from the town of Acle is probably ‘ahh…’ or ‘ahhr’ (with a soft r).

    • TomH says:

      So to answer the original question; this gives an original pronunciation of Ackerley something like ‘ahhcly’, which, is similar to the surname Oakley, oak (the tree) + leah (wood or clearing in a wood). The sound ‘oa’ in oak also changed in the Great Vowell Shift, but not as much; it was more like the ‘ou’ in pour, so ‘oak’ would have been ‘ouk’. Hence the connection between ‘ahhcl’ and ‘oukleah’. Combined with the tendency to truncate pronunciation of place names (Norwich=Narge, Britstol=Bris’l), you can see oukleah=oukl=ahhcl.
      One note to this; there were a lot of oak woods back then, so there are a lot of villages with similar names (Oalkley, Ockley, Oakleigh). Although Acle was a big village (65 households in the Domesday book) you would need other evidence to show a direct connection with the surname Ackerley.

  3. Anna Wade says:

    Who is the webmaster for the new website please?

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