Names A to D | Names E to J| Names K to O| Names P to S| Names T to Y

Yorkshire Place-Name Meanings A to D


A Acaster Malbis to Aysgarth

Acaster Malbis

Acaster means the site of a Roman fort which was later aquired by and Anglo-Saxon called Aca. After the Norman conquest the manor was owned by the Malbis family.


This place, now part of Middlesbrough has a name which means 'at the oak woodland' or oak clearings. The name is closely related to Acley, the original name for Aycliffe in Durham, meaning the oak clearing. Acklam is a plural form of Acley. Another Acklam can be found near York.


See Acklam, Cleveland


Acomb derives from the Anglo Saxon Akum which means oaks, um being an Anglo-Saxon plural. There are two Acombs in the north, near Hexham and near York.

Ainderby Quernhow

Ainderby is a Scandinavian place name and means the village belonging to Eindrithi, a Viking whose name meant 'sole-ruler'. Quernhow, which has also been spelled Whernhowe and Whernou means mill-hill, the first element deriving from the Old Norse Kvern, a mill stone. How or Howe, was an old word for a hill and is a common element in Yorkshire place names but rare in County Durham. The Quernhow at Ainderby is a small mound on the nearby Roman Road which marked the boundary between the parishes of Ainderby and Middleton Quernhow. Ainderby Mires and Ainderby Steeple are also in the district, the latter refers to the local church spire, the former to marshy mires.

Ainderby Steeple

See Ainderby Quernhow


This signifies a small Viking farm or 'thorpe', that was isolated or on its own. The name means one thorpe or 'lonely farm'.

Aire, River

A Celtic name meaning strong river.


The name of this place was originally Erghum. Holme normally means island or meander but in this case it is a corruption in spelling. Erghum means 'at the shielings' and contains the old Irish word erg meaning a shepherd's hut or shieling. The word erg was brought to this country by Vikings who had lived in Ireland.


Aiskew is a corruption of Eiki Skogr. It means oak wood.

Aldbrough St John

Place names containing the elements borough, brough or burgh, more often than not refer to ancient fortified settlements or manors and should not be interpreted in the modern sense of the word borough. The North Yorkshire villages of Aldbrough St John near Darlington and Aldborough near Boroughbridge both have the same meaning despite their slightly different spellings. Both names are Anglo-Saxon and mean 'old burgh' - an old fortified site. In pre-Saxon times both places were tribal strongholds associated with the Brigantes. The Brigantes were Welsh-speaking ancient Britons who occupied most of Yorkshire and South Durham. The Brigantes were the largest single tribe in Roman Britain. When the Romans first arrived in northern Britain, the fort of Stanwick near Albrough St John was the most important stronghold of the Brigantes. It was the Brigantian Queen, Cartimandua who handed over the British rebel Caractacus to the Romans in the year 51 AD. This infuriated her husband Venutius who captured the stronghold and rebelled against the Romans. The Romans forced the Brigantes to abandon the fort in 73 AD. As the Romans gradually took control of northern Britain, the Brigantes were surpressed and a Roman town called Isurium was built at the Brigantian tribal capital of Aldborough near Boroughbridge.


Near the River Ure, Borughbridge it means the old fortification.


See Northallerton


Near Boroughbridge, it was perhaps an ancient river name, the place is now situated on the River Kyle.


This was the ford where Ampre (sorrel) grew.


Angr is an old word for grazing land. The original name was Angrum, a plural form of Angr.

Appleton Roebuck

The name Appleton indicates an Anglo-Saxon farm where apples grew. Roebuck derives from Rabuk, the name of a man who owned the place in the fourteenth century.

Appleton Wiske

Appleton Wiske literally means an 'apple farm on the River Wiske'.


An apple farm situated near a Roman Road.


Appletreewick means the farm where apple trees grew. Wick meaning farm can be Anglo-Saxon or Viking.


Arkentgathdale means Arkle's enclosure in the valley. Arkle is a common Viking personal name. Garth is a Viking word for an enclosure. The dale is formed by the Arkle Beck.


Arncliffe means Eagles Cliff, compare this with


Originally called Erg Thorne. The name means the shieling near the Thorn Tree. See also Airey Holme.

Askham Bryan

Askham mean the homestead near the ash trees. Bryan son of Scolland was a thirteenth century owner.

Askham Richard

Thought to be named after Richard Duke of Cornwall in the thirteenth century


A ridge where ash trees grew. The spelling of ash as asc is due to Viking influence.


A Viking name meaning ash with - the ash woodland.


Ayresome in Middlesbrough was once the home of Middlesbrough Football Club, but how many supporters of the team know that the name Ayresome goes back to Viking times ?. Once separate from Middlesbrough Ayresome's name derives from the Old Norse 'ar husum' which means the houses near the river. Presumably Viking settlers established houses here in easy reach of the Tees where perhaps their longships or fishing vessels were stationed. The name of Aarhus in Norway has exactly the same meaning as Teesside's Ayresome, as may the east Denmark coastal town of Arhus. Over the years the name of Ayresome has changed slightly from Arushum in 1129 to Arsum in the thirteenth century and is marked on Saxtons map of 1577 as Ars-ham but this spelling was probably a less accurate interpretation of the pronunciation than the modern form, Ayresome.


A Viking name deriving from 'Ayks kerth' meaning a gap in the hills where oak trees grew.

B BAGBY to Buttercrambe



The Viking place belonging to Baggi.


The bridge over the River Bain.


Simply the site of a bridge on the River bain.


The place belonging to a Viking settler called Balder.


Balk means ridge, it has given its name to the Balk Beck near Thirsk.


Barningham is an Anglo-Saxon name meaning 'The homestead of the people of Beorna.'


This means Beorn's Ley, the clearing belonging to Beorn.

Barwick in Elmet

See Sherburn in Elmet.


Battersby is a corruption of Borthvarr's-by, the Viking farm or village belonging to someone called Borthvarr.


This name derives from the Viking words Beck and Vith meaning stream and wood. The last element 'shaw' is an anglo-Saxon word for a wood.


From the Anglo Saxon Bedas Halh - a secret corner or retreat belonging to someone called Bede, but probably not the Venerable Bede.


From the Anglo-Saxon Bodle Lum meaning 'at the buildings'


The Anglo-Saxon stronghold belonging to Beorna.


An Anglo-Saxon name which may mean beaver's clearing. Beverley is the site of an important minster.


Bickerton means the beekeeper's farm.


This means the valley belonging to someone called Bild


The farm belonging to Billa


The piece of land belonging to Brid


An obscure corruption of Bretaby meaning a village inhabited by a person or persons of mixed Viking and ancient British stock.


Possibly from Burg's staith, a landing place on the River Nidd.


Blubberhouses between Harrogate and Skipton stands near a lake which is now a reservoir. The word blubber is an old word which in medieval times had the meaning foaming and boiling. Perhaps this was the old name for the nearby lake.


Boltr's village - A Viking name.


This Viking place name means the stream near the Cow shed. Beck was the Viking word for a stream.


The Bridge near Aldboroug


Simply means the Broad Ford


The village belonging to a Viking called Brand


An Anglo-Saxon name meaning Beohrtel's farm.


Brompton means the ton or farm where broom grew, in other words gorse farm.


This is thought to derive from Brook Ton, the farm near the brook or stream.

Burton Agnes

Burton means the farm on the burgh or fortified manor. Agnes is Agnes de Albermarle who witnessed a deed at Burton Agnes in 1175.

Burton Leonard

This has the same meaning as Burton Agnes. Leonard is thought to be from St Leonard, the dedication of the church.


A bend in the river with rich pastures

C Cargo Fleet to Crayke

Cargo Fleet

Cargo Fleet was originally a medieval fishing port called Kaldecotes or Caldcotes and is situated at the point where the Marton and Ormesby Becks join the River Tees. Before its medieval development the Anglo-Saxon name Caldcotes referred to cold-shelter cottages, or a place of refuge where fishermen or travellers could shelter from the wild winter weather. Today, this site is lost among the heavy industry of the district. Somehow the name Caldecotes was corrupted into Cawker, then into Caudgatefleet and finally Cargo Fleet. During the eighteenth century Cargo Fleet was also known as Cleveland Port and was the point where large ships off-loaded their cargoes onto fleets of smaller vessels which were then able to continue the journey along the River Tees to the port of Stockton.

Carlin Howe

This is a Viking name which means old woman's hill or Hill of the witch.

Carlton Husthwaite

Places called Carlton are found in areas of Viking settlement and are Viking forms of the original Anglo-Saxon place name Charlton. Carlton, also spelt Carleton can be found in Viking settled areas like Lancashire, Yorkshire, Cumbria, Nottinghamshire and south Durham but in non Viking areas like Northumberland and the south of England we find the earlier form Charlton. The element 'ton' is Anglo-Saxon and means 'farm' while Charl and the Viking form Carl mean 'churl' - a freeholding peasant. Near Stockton-on-Tees we find the village of Carlton which was formerly in Cleveland County while south of the Tees near Hutton Rudby we find the village Carlton-in-Cleveland, which confusingly is in North Yorkshire and was never in Cleveland County. Carlbury near Piercebridge means the Churl's stronghold and like Carlton is a mixed Viking and Saxon name. There are two Carltons near Thirsk one called Carlton Minniott and another Carlton Husthwaite, the extra word distinguishing the two. Minniott was the name of a family who lived at Carlton Minniott in the 14th century. Husthwaite is the name of a place of Viking origin near Carlton Husthwaite and means the thwaite or meadow with houses on it.

Carlton Minniott

See Carlton Husthwaite


See Carlton Husthwaite


The first part of this place name is an Old Irish personal name Caipere. By is the Viking word from a settlement. The Founder of this place was probably of mixed Irish Viking origin.


Catterick is thought to take its name from the Latin Cataracta meaning waterfall. It may be named from its proximity to the River Swale which flows very swiftly nearby. In ancient times Catterick gave its name to the Celtic kingdom of Catraeth, located in the Tees and Swale valleys. Catraeth held out against the invading Anglo-Saxons for some time before it was finally seized by the invaders and incorporated into the expanding kingdom of Northumbria. Ancient Britons had a reputation for fierce resistance in this area in an earlier century and created much trouble for the Romans who built a fort called Cataractonium nearby.


This means Wood of the Jackdaw.


Charlton or 'Charltons' dates from the 1860s when an ironstone mine was found nearby. The village was built by the mine owner who was called Mr Charlton.


Cleveland means the cliffland or hilly district, the word cliff in its old sense referring to rolling hills rather than steep faced cliffs. The word cleve in Cleveland may also be related to the modern word cleavage. Cleveland is often thought to be a modern invention, but although the County of Cleveland, abolished in April 1996 was not created until 1974, the real Cleveland is much older. Historically Cleveland was a district of northern Yorkshire situated entirely to the south of the River Tees. The earliest record of the name was in Viking times when Harald Hardrada is said to have landed in that part of Yorkshire called Cliffland. Unlike the present county, old Cleveland did not include places like Billingham, Stockton, Egglescliffe and Hartlepool which were part of County Durham. Guisborough was in Yorkshire but was also the ancient Cleveland capital, while Yarm was the main place of industry and commerce in old Cleveland until Middlesbrough rose to prominence in the nineteenth century. Old Cleveland stretched further south than Cleveland county, almost as far south as Whitby and included Egton, Stokesley, Great Ayton, Staithes and Carlton in Cleveland. Ironically Carlton in Cleveland and most of the Cleveland Hills were never part of the modern county of Cleveland.

Cleveland Hills

See Cleveland

Cleveland Port

See Cargo Fleet


The thorpe of farm belonging th the King.

Constable Burton

Burton means farm on a stronghold. In 1100 it belonged to the constable of the Earl of Richmond.


Means village of the chapmen - the traders' thorpe.


This Teesdale village associated with Hannah Hauxwell has an Anglo-Saxon name meaning Cuthere's farm although some people have associated the name with St Cuthbert.


Dale of the River Cover.


This was the wold belonging to someone called Cucha


Crackpot can be found in Swaledale and has two parts to its name, both of which occur in a number of other Northern place names. In 1298 the place was called Crakepot and its name derives from the Old English 'Kraka', a crow and the Viking word 'Pot'. A 'pot' was usually a cavity or deep hole often in the bed of a river, but in Crackpot's case refers to a rift in the limestone. Pot also occurs in the place name Potto near Hutton Rudby, Sand Pot near Northallerton and in Pot Hall and the Pot Beck near Masham. The word is still used in Swedish dialects today. Crake meaning crow occurs in many place names throughout the North, although Crayke near Easingwold derives from the old Celtic word 'Kraik' meaning 'rock'. This also occurs in the form Craig. Sometimes places containing the word Crake result from a person's name. Crakehill, near Dishforth for example means the hill belonging to a Viking called Craca. Crakethorn near Pickering means the thorn bushes frequented by crows and this may also be the meaning of Crathorne near Yarm. Crows were also abundant further north and were found at Crawcrook - the crook of land inhabited by crows. Craster on the Northumberland coast was originally called Crawcestere and refers to an abandoned fort inhabited by crows.


From an anglo-Saxon word crumb meaning a bend - a bend in the river


Thought to mean Crakes' thorn bush, a bush frequented by Crakes.


The name of the district derives from the Welsh Craf meaning Garlic which grows herabouts. See also Leeds, Sherburn in Elmet and Penyghent.


This name derives from the Old Celtic word Kraik meaning a rock. It has the same meaning as Craig in Celtic place names.

Danby to Driffield


Danby means village of the Danes.

Danby Wiske

Danby means the 'by' - a farm or village belonging to the Danes. In Yorkshire we can find a Danby on the River Esk, Danby Wiske on the River Wiske and Danby on the River Ure.

Derwent, River

Celtic name meaning oak river.


This name is thought to mean the watery 'burgh' or fortified manor.


Site of a Roman fort on the River Don in Yorkshire. This river name has the same name as the River Don at Jarrow.


This means Door or pass.Once situated on the boundary between the kingdoms of Northumbria and Mercia, it formed a pass between the two. It is now a subburb of Sheffield.


A town built near Redcar for the steel workers of Dorman and Long in 1918.


The dry field

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