Sunday, 20 January 2013

Cornwall Place Names

With the up-coming release of Cornwall Place Names talks in the county on that very subject are on the horizon. Thus here is a taster.


A rather unusual name listed as Dobbewalles in 1619, for it describes 'the walls of the Dobbe family'. The A38 by-pass has two so-called bat bridges, these are designed to continue the lines of the hedgerows removed for the construction of the road, thus keeping the bats on course and away from the speeding traffic below.

Bosigran is a local name recorded as Boschygarn in 1361 and is thought to refer to 'the dwelling at the lost place of Chycarn'. Appearing as Coldruscot in 1418, Caduscot is an Old Cornish name meaning 'the ridge across a wood'. Connon Bridge is a corruption of the original 'bridge at or of the convent'. Coombe is from Old English cumb or 'the valley'. Two Waters Foot tells us it is at 'the foot of two streams'

Doublebois still betrays its French origins, the name describing 'the wood split into two parts'. Found as Pennant in 1357, the Old Cornish name of Pennant describes its location 'at the head of the valley'. Plashford is an Old English name from plaesc ford 'the marshy ford'. Seen as Polmena in 1627, Polmenna is a name describing 'the pool at the hillside'.

St Pinnock, listed as Pynnoke in 1442, is another place taking its name from one of the many Cornish saints. East Taphouse is 'the eastern alehouse', east of Middle Alehouse and East Alehouse, which are found under Braddock. Trevelmond is a combination of Middle English atte and the French bel mont and speaking of this being found 'at the fair hill'.

A pub named the Highwayman suggests an image of a mysterious figure more associated with acts of derring-do rather than that of a murderous robber. Both piracy and smuggling also seem to attract such romanticism. However as the pub has only been here since 1963 the image of the villain has been taken to represent what effectively is a pub on a highway.

I would welcome any suggestions for themes or subjects, or even specific words to examine the origins, meanings and etymologies. I’d be delighted to hear from you.

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