Viking Horsforth

Prompted by a recent discussion on the Horsforth Memories Facebook page about the meaning of Fink Hill, I set out below some other place names in Horsforth which derive from Old Norse, and their meanings.

Beck (see also Ghyll Beck) – stream

Carr (eg Carr Bridge) – brushwood marsh

Dale (eg Airedale Drive) – valley

Finkel – crooked, bent or curved. Over time, this probably became Fink Hill. There are are many Finkel (or Finkle) Streets in North East England.

Gate (eg Broadgate Lane) – street

Garth (eg Hall Park Garth) – enclosure

Ghyll (eg Ghyll Beck) – ravine, gully

Laithe (Newlaithes) – barn

Wapentake – take your weapon. Horsforth was in the old wapentake (administrative district) of Skyrack which met at the ancient shire oak (scir ack in Old English) tree in Headingley. The reference to ‘take your weapon’ suggests that wapentakes were originally used to muster armies.

For more on local place names, click here.

For more on the meaning of Horsforth, click here.

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