Sunday, 17 August 2014

Durham Place Names – Hartlepool

It may still be summer but currently the weather is decidedly autumnal. For me autumn, at least on a professional note, means the publication of a new book. Not aware of the exact date yet but offer a sample to whet the appetite.


A place listed as Herterpol around the end of the twelfth century, this name comes from Old English heorot eg pol and describes 'the pool or bay near the peninsula frequented by stags'.

Street names begin with Alma Street, named after the battle which was fought on 20th September 1854, considered the first battle of the Crimean War it is often seen as a pub name. Baltic Street was named for it being associated with those principally trading with the Baltic provinces of Estonia, Livonia and Courland. Cleveland Street commemorates the Marquis of Cleveland, who served as mayor in 1831. Another mayor was William Vollum, a ship owner who served five terms as mayor and who had Vollum Road named after him. Prissick Street was named in 1841 to mark the work of philanthropists Henry and Elizabeth Prissick. Stripe is an old street name, taken from a field name referring to a long, narrow strip of land.

The hamlet of Brierton appeared as Brerton and Brereton in the fourteenth century, while quite recently the name is recorded with the alternative spelling of Brearton. The name is of Old English origin in braer tun 'the farmstead of the brambles'. Stranton comes from Old English strand tun 'the place on the shore'. Throston has been recorded since the fourteenth century, although 'the farmstead of a man called Thor' will have existed since shortly after Roman times. Trickley is derived from a little used English word trickle describing 'the farm of sheep dung'.

On the coast is the name of Eden, seen as Geodene, Iodene and Yoden in early records, this speaks of 'the valley of Goda'. From naes byht comes the name of Nesbitt and describes 'the bend at the headland'. Found as Ovetun in the twelfth century, the name of Owton is from a very common personal name and refers to 'the farmstead of a man called Offa or Ofa'.

Seaton Carew is found as Ceattun, Setona, Seton Carrowe, and Seton Karrow between the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Here Old English sae tun refers to 'the farmstead on the sea'. The addition is seen in the name of former tenant Petrus Carou, whose surname appears to be a nickname rather than a place name as there are no references as 'de Carou'. Another Old English name is Throston, a name speaking of 'the tun or farmstead of a man called Thurstan'. Inscar Point is a coastal feature derived from Middle English sker 'a rocky cliff', while further along the coast we find Maiden Bower, traditionally where a young woman was flung to her death on the rocks by her violent lover. Possibly describing 'the farmstead of a man called Neale', Nelson is first seen as Nelestune in 1196.


  1. My husband comes from near there.Very interesting..
    I like knowing about differences and dialect too

    1. Thank you, Kate. It is a lovely part of the world.