The Earl of Shrewsbury’s Fleaky Bitt

This post was contributed by Val Gannon, one of our volunteers.

Front cover of the 1789 survey of the Earl of Shrewsbury's estates (D240/E(S)/2/4 at the Staffordshire Record Office)

Front cover of the 1789 survey of the Earl of Shrewsbury’s estates (D240/E(S)/2/4 at the Staffordshire Record Office)

As part of the Staffordshire Place-Name Project, I am indexing document no. D240/ES/2/4, “Survey of the Earl of Shrewsbury’s Estates”, 1789. The survey covers the Earl’s estates in North Staffordshire and he was an extensive land owner. Amongst other stately homes, the Earl resided for part of the year at Alton Abbey (now Alton Towers). He owned substantial property in Alton and in neighbouring villages such as Rochester, Stanton, Denstone, Cotton and Farley. It is an agricultural area but has some industrial activity. The 1789 Survey mentions the Alton Wire Mills in the village of Farley, interestingly not in Alton itself where the Earl lived. This week I have been looking at place-names in Cotton and Farley, today still small settlements.

These include the following interesting field-names:

In Cotton:
Starvarse
Fleaky Bitt
Beggary Land
Blub Piece
Gutter Yard
Tatoe Yard

In Farley:
Lickshead
Crook Lane
Over Likse
Grosty Likse
Square Likse

Stay tuned for more field-name gems!

Contents of the survey of the Earl of Shrewbury's estates, 1789 (D240/E(S)/2/4 at the Staffordshire Record Office)

Example page from the inside of the survey book, showing fields in the parish of Alton

 

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