What's in a name ??



Brittonic, Old English, Anglo-Saxon, Norman, and Ecclesiastical names bear witness to previous inhabitants...

River names
 
Dove This name is derived from the Brittonic dubo ‘black, dark’.  So the Dove is the dark river, which, of course, is a reference to the upper reaches of the river near its source at Dove Head, below Axe Edge. 
 
Manifold West of the Dove and just three kilometres away flows the Manifold.  This is a straightforward name relating to the many winding folds of the river through its whole length.  Its source is only one kilometre south of the source of the Dove and will eventually meet the Dove near Ilam.  The river was known as Water of Manifould in 1434.
 
Place names

 
Crowdecote The earliest reference is in the 13th century when it was Crudecote.  The first part of this name would seem to be the rare Anglo-Saxon personal name Cruda and the second part is the Old English cot ‘cottage’.  The original crossing of the River Dove here was 250 metres downstream from the present bridge and was adjacent to the farm now known as Bridge End.  This was the river crossing for a long distance road from the North East Midlands to East Cheshire.
 
Dowel Dale Ministers Accounts for 1417 record another Lancastrian bercary,  Dowalhous.  The present farm  of Dowall Hall  is adjacent to a spring, the water from which then flows for 800 metres to join the River Dove.  So Dowall is essentially Dove Spring, the name also giving rise to the dry valley leading down to the spring.  Near the farm,  in the valley side, is the small entrance to Dowel Cave, which contains evidence for prehistoric ritual burials. 
 
Earl Sterndale There are two settlements known as Sterndale in  the area between the rivers Dove and Wye, namely King Ssterndale and Earl Sterndale.  Sterndale probably means ‘valley with rocky ground’, a combination of the Old English words staener and dael, but these two settlements are themselves not to be found in a valley.  Kingsterndale was royal land whereas Earl Sterndale which in1330 was Erlissterndale, was land of the Earl of Lancaster.  The Lancastrian dynasty assumed control of the Upper Dove on the Derbyshire side shortly after Robert de Ferrers III lost almost all his manors in 1266.  The village of Earl Sterndale sits on a limestone shelf 330 metres above sea level.  It may represent a new settlement planned by the Lancasters which involved a relocation of the inhabitants of Soham.
 
Glutton The derivation of this name always creates much interest with visitors.  The first reference is in 1358 when it was Glotunhous and was one of the many bercaries or sheep farms created by the Lancasters in their Upper Dove estates in Derbyshire.  The origin of Glutton would seem to be a nickname appertaining to personal eating habits.  The first recorded use of the name was in Nottinghamshire when a Simon Le Glutun was recorded in Pipe Rolls in the year 1201.  Descendants of the first person named Le Gluton may not have had the same greedy habits as their ancestor but, by virtue of retaining the same surname, would be tarred with the same brush. 
 
Hartington The ending of this name has changed slightly from that recorded in the Domesday Survey which was Hortedun.  The second element is dun and is used in settlement names for a low hill with a fairly level and extensive which provided a good settlement site in open country.  The first element is more difficult but is probably the Anglo-Saxon personal name Heorot,
 
Longnor This was Langenoure in 1227 and is a combination of the Old English words lang and ofer, so means ‘long ridge’.  However the Anglo-Saxons had a specialised meaning for ofer, namely a flat topped ridge with a convex shoulder.   The ridge is certainly long, stretching for eight kilometres from above Hartington Bridge to the end of the ridge at Nab End.  Observant visitors will note that the end or shoulder of the ridge is no longer convex, but instead is concave.  This is due to landslip which is very evident on the gritstone and shales.  Indeed this landslip has severely damaged part of the road between Longnor and Glutton Bridge.  Other roads in the Peak District built on land over gritstone and shale have suffered the same fate, the road from Castleton to Chapel en le Frith below Mam Tor being the prime example.  
 
Ludwell This was Lodowelle in the Domesday Survey and combines two Old English words hlud and waella.  Its meaning is therefore ‘loud spring’  This spring is still powerful and noisy, as is evident when one walks along the gated road from Pilsbury to Hartington. 
 
Parkhouse Hill and Chrome Hill These distinctive reef limestone hills dominate the landscape of the Upper Dove.  Parkhouse Hill overlooks the site of another of the Lancastrian bercaries, namely Parkehous, first recorded in 1386.  However, on a 1614 map, Parkhouse Hill is labelled Little Crome, with the present Chrome Hill labelled Great CromeCrome (pronounced locally as in room) derives from either the Old English crumb or the Brittonic crumbo, with the meaning ‘crooked’ or jagged’.  This is an apt description of the shapes of the ridges on these two hills. 
 
Pilsbury This was Pilesberie in the Domesday Survey.  Pil is an Anglo Saxon personal name which also occurs in the Derbyshire place-name Pilsley.  The second element of the name is from burh, which can have the meaning ‘manor house’ as well as ‘fortified place’.  The castle at Pilsbury is a Norman motte and bailey and there is no evidence to suggest that there was any kind of stronghold here before the castle was built soon after the Norman Conquest.
 
Pilsbury Grange This was a monastic grange built on land which Robert de Ferrers gave to the Abbey of Merevale in Warwickshire after founding it in the year 1148.  Like many Cistercian abbeys, the Grange would be the central unit of a sheep farm. 
 
Soham This name, which is no longer recorded on maps, was Salham in the Domesday survey.  It probably derives from the dative plural of the Old English salh ‘willow’ and therefore has the meaning ‘at the willows.’  If this is the case, the site of the original settlement should, like Crowdecote, Ludwell and Pilsbury, be in the Dove Valley.  Field names which contain the name Soham would seem to be imply the site of the village was in the area around Glutton Bridge. 
 
Sheen On the opposite side of the river from Pilsbury is land in the parish of Sheen.  This was a royal manor recorded in the Domesday survey as Sceon.  The Old English word sceo in plural form is sceon and has the meaning ‘sheds’ or ‘shelters’.  This probably referred originally to shelters for herdsmen who were pasturing  cattle on the gritsone/shale lands on the Staffordshire side of the Dove.
 
Whitle On the Staffordshire side of the Dove, upstream from Pilsbury, the modern map shows two farms, Under Whitle and Upper Whitle.  This area, though part of the parish of Sheen was, up to the 18th century, part of the manor of Alstonefield.  The names probably refer to the high ground overlooking the Dove – the White Hill, namely the hill (and hillslope) with good pasture.
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