Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Some Unusual Place Names

Yesterday there was a comment posted to the blog from a lady in America remarking how much she loves the place names that I feature. This has given me an idea; write a post about place names - I've got nothing any better to do today, the weather's miserable and because of the course of antibiotics that I'm taking I'm feeling quite drowsy most of the time, and so wouldn't be out walking even if the weather was nice.

This is only a short list of the more striking or unusual place names I can remember at the moment:

Cakes of Bread: A rock formation on Derwent Edge - they really do look like cakes of bread...from every angle.

Chrome Hill: Unfortunately it's not made of chrome, or even looks anything like it. In this case 'Chrome' is derived from the Celtic word for 'crooked.' it's quite a distinctive hill though; I haven't visited it yet, it's difficult for me to reach. I saw it in the far distance when I was walking a few months ago in upper Dovedale with Chris, my friend from Leeds.

Coach and Horses: Another rock formation, also on Derwent Edge. It's supposed to look like a coach and horses from one particular angle. I've obviously not viewed the rocks from that angle yet because whenever I've seen them they look like nothing in particular at all.

Cutthroat Bridge; A popular location for me to start a walk from due to it being on a bus route. I think it got its name because of a gruesome event in the eighteenth century when a stagecoach was attacked by highwaymen. More recently, in the 1980s, a partially decapitated body was found in the boot of a car here.

Glutton: A village, or hamlet, over on the western side of the Peak District. I've never been there and know nothing about the place.

Gusset: Another village, or hamlet, over on the western side of the Peak District. I've not been there either and also know nothing about the place.

Hangman Stone: This isn't in the Peak District, it's a local spot quite near to Doncaster, I usually stop here to eat my sandwiches when I'm passing. The reason for its gruesome name isn't as obvious as you might think; local folklore says that the name refers to what happened to a sheep rustler. He'd killed the sheep and tied its legs together and than placed it on his shoulders to carry it home. When he reached the stone he sat down, still with the dead sheep hanging round his neck. He was tired and fell asleep, as he slouched the position of the sheep's carcass moved and strangled him.

High Low: Several locations in the Peak District share this name. In the Peak District a 'low' is actually a hill, so 'High Low' means 'high hill.'

Madwoman's Stones: Another rock formation, this time on Kinder Scout. I don't know how it got the name.

Penistone: The name of this small time frequently generates a smile or giggle when seen on a page or screen.

Ringing Roger: Another rock formation on Kinder Scout. I think it makes a whistling noise when it's windy.

Surprise View: This is one of the classic Peak District views, looking up the Hope Valley from above Hathersage. So named by Queen Victoria who was travelling by coach and was tired of crossing the bleak moorlands, but was surprised by the stunning view she saw when she reached here.