History of the Village of Stoney Middleton

By Thomas E. Cowen (1910)

Transcriptions by Rosemary Lockie, © Copyright 2003

History of the Village of Stoney MiddletonPLACE NAMES


Some names of places have doubtless been derived from persons, who have either farmed or occupied the land or buildings in the vicinity.

CAPS CLOSE AND BIG CAPS CLOSE (Nos. 217 and 214 on the Ordnance Map) is named from William Capps, a celebrated wrestler and equestrian, who died on Jan. 24th, 1703. A mural monument once stood in the nave of the Church, but it was afterwards removed outside the Church, and eventually destroyed at the Restoration(?) of 1861.

BOWER CLOSE, near the Moon Inn, belonged to William Bower, who died on the 24th November, 1788, at the age of 76. He doubtless lived at a private house since licensed. A tablet to his memory is to be seen in the Church.

HEATON FOLD (Fold, a place fenced in by felled trees) is in close proximity to Vicarage Lane. According to an old record James Heaton was a singer in the choir of Middleton Church in 1717.

BUXTON CLOSE lies near the Vicarage. In the Churchyard there is a tombstone erected to the memory of Anthony Buxton, carpenter, who died May 28th, 1821.

CHAPMAN CROFT stands near the top of the Dale Mouth. Here at one time stood a house belonging to Cornelius Chapman, the village Pounder. His widow, becoming somewhat reduced, was obliged to dispose of this property.

The 'PINFOLD' is still to be seen near the Stag's Head Inn.

BLACK HARRY or Blagden Farm. The latter name is derived from the mine to be found in the vicinity.

JANE CLOSE, JINNY SIDE is close to the Vicarage. It owes its name to the mother of Mr. Henry Goddard, lime burner, whose Christian name was 'Jane'.

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OWEN FRITH had probably a similar origin.

It would appear that other place-names are derived from objects in close proximity, thus:

MILL LANE was the old road from Eyam to Calver through Stoney Middleton, probably before the road through Middleton Dale was fit for vehicular traffic. Doubtless this was the way to the Corn Mill, which stood on the Bank. Carters traversed this road so as to avoid the toll bar near the Grouse Inn. At one time large quantities of grain were stored at the MALTHOUSE, which borders on MILL STREET.

SCOTCH BANK is the name of one side of Coombe's Dale (Coombe, a valley). It is probably named from the Scotch Firs which grow in the plantation on the summit.

FARNLEY LANE (Fern-lea). A Lea is the name of meadow or sward-land. The fern grows in profusion in the shady lane. This road leads to the top of Middleton.

OAKEN-EDGE. As a rule the Oak does not grow on limestone soil, yet a few oaks are to be found in this neighbourhood.

  “Up Oaken-edge by Saxon Odin's dam,
Black harry house, above the dale of Cam,
Across the Rake once wrought by Roman bands.”[1]
 R. Furness.

THE FRITH (Frith, a woody place, a forest, a small field taken out of a common). It is situated on the right-hand of Coombe's Dale.

CRAGSTEAD. A crag is a rough, broken, steep rock; a stead or stad is a dwelling or homestead. Hence a Cragstead is a dwelling on a steep rock.

Shape or Size has sometimes a bearing on the name of a place.

THE DIAL (Latin dies, a day) is the name of a crooked passage leading to the top of the Dale Mouth. A Dial is the name of anything similar to a sundial. Standing at a point half-way up The Dial, the crossways have the appearance of the graduated face of a Sundial. Whether there has been a

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Sundial here formerly, as in the garden of Bank House, is only matter for speculation.

TRINKEY LANE leads from the Frith or hollow into Calver Lane. Trinkey may be derived from O.F., trencher, to cut; and may have been applied to a bye-lane. Dr. Wrench says this is probably a corruption of 'Tinker Lane', so-called because gipsies encamped there.

FIVE ACRES is situated at Highfields. On the Ordnance Map its extent is given as 5 acres 3 roods 39 perches.

Some places have been named from the character of the land.

BLAKELOW or 'Bleak low'. Lowe (Gothic) was a hill heap, tomb, or barrow. Hence Blakelow means the bleak hill.

Sites of Tumuli, Human Remains, Cist and Cup have been discovered in the vicinity (vide Ordnance Survey, 1878).

MOSTYN KNOLL. A Knoll or Knowl (A.S., cnoll) was the top of a hill or rounded hillock. This is supposed to be the old coach road to Manchester.

THE NOOK. This is a Celtic word for a secluded place, a corner, or a narrow place formed by an angle. This road leads to the Roman Baths.

HALFWAY HOUSE stood between Stoney Middleton and Calver. It is supposed to have been a public-bouse, and the walls are still standing. This marked the limit of the Parish of Stoney Middleton.

BLIND LANE leads to Eyam New Road. Formerly a wood lay on one side of the road, rarely frequented before the Chinley Line was opened, and the stony road would be less inviting than it is at present.

HIGHFIELDS (or High Fields) is reached by way of High Street, and is situated at the 'top of Middleton'.

TOWN GATE (A.S., geat a way) was the passage leading into the “tun” or enclosure. The way lead past the Village Cross up High Street, and was the venue of the old stage coach. The new road was only made in 1840.

BLAKEDON DUN (A.S., a mound). Among the Ancient Britons this was the name of a circular tower or a small fortress erected on the summit of a hill.

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THE CLIFFE (A.S. clif, a rock) is the rising ground on the Bank which leads to Eyam.

Shining Cliffe is in Middleton Dale.

There is also Hay Cliffe Nook in the neighbouring village of Eyam.

OVARY BUTT (French boter, to push, strike) is the name of a field in Middleton Avenue.

A Butt is a mark to shoot at, so whether this the site of a Buttery is merely a matter of conjecture.

A FRITH is a woody place, a small field taken out of a common.

THE FRITH stands on the right of Coombe's Dale.

FRITH GREEN lies near Middleton Avenue.

NETHER FRITH or Far Frith is used to distinguish it from Lower Frith.

THE PRAIRIE (Latin pratum, a meadow) is an extensive tract of fiat or rolling land, covered with tall grass, but destitute of trees.

This is the name of a field at the top of Middleton.

BOOTH HOLE, doubtless named from Booths, of Highfield Farm, is situated opposite Coombe's Dale. It is reached via the Frith. A fine view of the Dale is obtained from this position.

[1] In the Ordinance Survey, 1878, we can frequently see “Site of Tumulus, Human Remains, Cist and Cup found”.

End of Chapter XX: => SURNAMES

OCR/transcript by Rosemary Lockie in February 2003.

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