FREELANCE JOURNALIST AND AUTHOR
Anthony Poulton-Smith

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Ever wondered why our towns and villages are so named? Were they a deliberate creation by our ancestors or did they evolve naturally over time? By what name do we today know what began as Cenheard’s fortified place’? Which village describes itself as ‘the farmstead with a church of the ore blower’? And were there really swans at Swanland?
In these pages we examine the origins of the names with which we are otherwise so familiar. Towns, villages, districts, hills, streams, woods, farms, fields, streets and even pubs are examined and explained. Some of the definitions give a glimpse of life in the earlier days of the settlement, and for the author there is nothing more satisfying than finding a name which gives such a snapshot. The definitions are supported by anecdotal evidence, bringing to life the individuals and events which have influenced the places and the way these names have developed.
This is not just a dictionary but a history and will prove invaluable not only for those who live and work in the county but also visitors and tourists, historians and former inhabitants, indeed anyone with an interest in this part of Yorkshire.