Brittonic, Old English, Anglo-Saxon, Norman, and Ecclesiastical names bear witness to previous inhabitants...
Dove - 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
Manifold - West of the Dove and just three kilometres away. 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.
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. King Sterndale
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
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 - Known as 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
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 Crome. Crome (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 - 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 - 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. 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.