Recorded as Bartwell, Birtwell, Burtwell, and possibly other, this is an English surname. It is obviously locational from some place which was probably originally called 'Burg-steall' meaning the place of the castle, as in the surviving towns of Birstal in the West Riding of Yorkshire, and Birstall, in Leicestershire. On the other hand it could derive from Birtle, a place in Lancashire which meant Birch hill, or from a now lost medieval village of which the surname in its varied forms is the only physical reminder of its former existence. It is estinmated that at least three thousand British surnames do derive from now lost village names, so whilst still unusual, it is by no means an uncommon situation. The surname is well recorded in the surviving church registers of the city of London. Examples include Ann Bartwell who married William Bennington at St Katherines by the Tower (of London), on March 17th 1680, Elisabeth Burtwell who married Daniell Frederick at St James Clerkenwell, on January 19th 1712, and Isaac Birtwell who married Elizabeth Veasey at St John the Baptist, Shoreditch, on November 16th 1862.