Skelton Parish

Skelton Parish History

How Skelton Got It's Name

The name Skelton appears from its ancient form Schilton in documents in the 12th and 13th centuries to be derived from the old English 'scylf' or 'scelf', a 'crag on a headland' and the common word tun, enclosure. Thus Skelton would mean the enclosure on the high ground. The names of the hamlets of the parish plainly show that the Angles of Skelton were not left in peaceful possession of their district by Norse intruders.. Thus Lamonby would appear to be 'Byr' or farmstead of a Norseman, Langbein or Longshanks; Laithes is evidently the Norse Hlath or barn, the same word that occurs in Silloth, Selath, or barn by the sea; Ellonby is perhaps the byr of Aelfwine; Scales is the common Norse word Skeli or huts, a word occuring in the names Seascale, Scaleby, Scalelands Scale Force and many other places in the county. Lastly the curious name Unthank - a name which occurs also near Dalston and near Gamblesby - was in the 13th century written Hunthanc and might be derived from the name of a Norseman Hun and the old Norse tangi, 'a spit of land' or 'Thang' a wood or forest.

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