Monthly Archives: October 2016

Why Smarber is more likely to mean ‘clover hill’ than ‘butter hill’

For most of the 1900s the conventional wisdom among distinguished place-name experts was that the several place-names throughout England beginning with the first element Smar, Smer or Smear were somehow related to an Old Norse word smjor, meaning butter. Consequently, … Continue reading

Posted in Swaledale history | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Was the Grinton Hoard a Roman soldier’s pay packet?

A visit a while ago to a small temporary exhibition at the British Museum ‘Hoards: the hidden history of ancient Britain’ prompted me to think again about an earlier blog post about the hoard of second-century Roman silver denarius coins, … Continue reading

Posted in Swaledale history | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Whalsey – where Anglian settlers called the indigenous Britons ‘foreigners’

A large, seven-acre field next to the River Swale near Whita Bridge in upper Swaledale was recorded in 1844 as Whalsey, and in 1135 as a cattle farm called Whallasheued. The most likely interpretation of the former is ‘Welsh people’s … Continue reading

Posted in Swaledale history | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment