The two main types of place-names are habitation-names (farms, villages) and nature-names (woods, hills). The earliest record of many names is in the Domesday Book but nearly all Dales place-names were given long before that by the Viking or Anglo-Saxon settlers. Swaledale means, very appropriately, “The valley of the rushing river” Arkengarthdaleprobably means “The valley of Arkle’s enclosure” Both Dales have a number of interesting-sounding hamlets, amongst which are: Reeth “The stream” Gunnerside“Gunner’s high pasture” Keld “The spring” Muker “The small field” Smarber “The butter hill” Grinton “The green enclosure” Melbecks “The stream by the sandbank” Booze “The house on the bend” Whaw “The enclosure near the sheepfold”
Our Vicar, Caroline,recently featured in the Yorkshire Post. Click on the picture to read the full article.
Final Journeys... Corpse Ways or Corpse Roads were established as a means of transporting the deceased, often from very remote communities, to consecrated ground of their parish church. In Swaledale the Corpse Way along which the dead were traditionally carried in wicker coffins, runs from Keld To Grintonchurchyard. Beside Ivelet Bridge, a large flat stone is said to be where the coffin bearers rested their heavy loads. The journey could be hazardous and there are stories of both corpse and pall bearers being swept away in floods. Eventually, in 1580, a graveyard was consecrated at Muker and the relatives of the dead no longer had to brave the Corpse Way.