Mapped Histories has been part of the 'Peeling the Onion' Project. Its aim was to collect and interpret the names of the fields, woods and landscape features within the Rusland Horizons scheme area.
Minor place-names and field-names are a rich source for understanding landscape history at local level. Recorded on maps, sales documents and sometimes preserved in the memory of older residents, they reflect the cultural history of the landscape and how people have worked it over the centuries. These names were recognised as being a rich heritage asset which needed to be recorded and preserved. This project involved local volunteers in collecting and interpreting these names and making them available via the website's 'Explore Map' function.Although over 2000 names have been recorded and interpreted, more valuable information remains to be found. This project is set to continue via an enthusiastic local history group.
The Project's aims and benefits were:
Many of the fieldnames and place names are derived from Old Norse, for example: Haverthwaite is the name the Norse men gave to the clearing where they grew oats ('thwaite' means clearing).
There was a strong desire for this project from the local community. The aim was to transform the history of field-names and place names which are stored up in local memory and archives into an accessible and real resource which in order to create a strong sense of the project area. This would give a unique insight into how the landscape has been managed traditionally. It is hoped that this information will help feed into future landscape management plans.
With our volunteers the aim was to record and map as many field-names, woodland names and minor place-names as can be recaptured from cartographic evidence (dating from 17th to 20th centuries) and by talking to local people.
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