Friday 21 August 2015

Photo Essay: Coast to Coast Walk - Old Norse Landscape Terms

The Lord's Prayer written in Old Norse lettering

Common Landscape Names in Cumbria and Yorkshire
(derived from Norse Words)
There are certain terms used over and over in the Lake District, the Dales, and the North Yorkshire Moors to name landscape features: some of them identify natural features; some are attached to features established by original human settlements. Here is a basic glossary of terms used frequently in this region.


beck = stream, brook
brigg or brigge = bridge
cam = bank, slope, ridge

Easedale Beck in the Lake District

carr = marshy woodland, shrubland
dale = valley
foss or force = waterfalls, rapids

Swaledale in the Yorkshire Dales

garth = small grass enclosure beside a house
gate = way or street
gill or ghyll = small, narrow valley or ravine

Gaping Gill in Yorkshire

hause = mountain pass
how = hill
keld or kell = spring or well

Keld photographed from the Pennine Way

knott = rocky hilltop
laithe or leethe = barn, agricultural building
mell = sand dunes
 mere = lake

Lake Windermere in the Lake District

moss = bog, marsh
ness = headland, promontory
pike = peak

Scafell Pike in the Lake District

scar or scaur = cliff or rocky outcrop with steep cliff
seat, set(t) or side = Summer pasture or dwelling place
sike, syke, or sitch = small stream or gulley, gutter
skyr = shire, county
slack = small valley or depression in the ground

Rossthwaite in the Borrowdale region

tarn = lake or pond (especially in uplands)
thorp(e) or t(h)rop = village or small settlement
thwait(e) = village or small settlement
toft = small farmstead with enclosed land (later also came to mean a village or small settlement)

Red Tarn in the Lake District


No comments:

Post a Comment