(c) Whitewood and Fleming

Mapped Histories

Mapped Histories is part of the 'Peeling the Onion' Project. Its focus is on collecting and interpreting field and place names that reflect the nature of the landscape and how people have worked it over the centuries.

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 are a rich heritage asset which needs to be recorded and preserved. This project is collecting and interpreting these names and making them available via the website's 'Explore Map' function. A subset of fieldnames is already available.

The aim is to improve understanding of past lives and landscapes of the Rusland Valley and Fells to inform future planning and enable people to learn about and become involved in conserving our heritage before it disappears.

Aims and benefits:

Support and train 12 volunteers and local residents to research and document the fieldnames and minor place-names in the area to understand the social context of places in the landscape.

So far so good...

Update March 2019

  • A group of 15 mapped history volunteers have been trained to research and collate information about local place names.
  • More than 2000 fieldnames have been discovered, captured, interpreted and uploaded onto the database.
  • Launch event held on 20th November 2017 to celebrate the project and view fieldnames now live on the website.
  • Booklet published 'Lake District Fieldnames: A Guide for Local Historians' by Angus J L Winchester
  • The volunteers ran a training day on behalf of Friends of the Lake District for outdoor leaders to learn about fieldnames and landscape heritage.
  • Data uploaded onto the website - go to map to view.
  • More data is being gathered, interpreted and verified.
  • A booklet about the Mapped Histories project is being written by the volunteers - to be published in spring/early summer 2019

Did you know?

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).


The Challenge

There was a strong desire for this project from the local community. The aim is to transform the history of old place names which are stored up in local memory and archives into an accessible and real resource which will help to create a strong sense of the project area. This will give a unique insight into how the landscape has been managed traditionally and once gathered, it is hoped that this information will help feed into future landscape management plans.

Our Approach

With our volunteers we will record and map as many minor names and field-names as can be recaptured from cartographic evidence (dating from 17th to 20th centuries) and by talking to local people.

© Rusland Horizons 2017 - 2019. All rights reserved.
Rusland Horizons is a Landscape Partnership funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund