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'West Kirkby: the West Churchton. As the name Wallasey was superseded during the Norse occupation by Kirkby-Walley, I am inclined to think the old name that was superseded by West Kirkby was Caldey; i.e., that before the Norsemen came, the parish was the parish of Caldey, or the cold island—cald-ieg. On the other hand, the Domesday Book spelling, Calders, seems to suggest a Norse derivation; possibly it is akin to the Norse kalldr, cold.

The undoubted Norse termination of by is to be found in Frankby, Pensby, Irby, Greasby, Raby, and Whitby, but it remains for some one to suggest a meaning for the first syllable of these names. The only one on which I will venture is Greasby, possibly from the grds, grass, pasture; though the Domesday Book reading of Greavesberrie would seem to suggest an almost prehistoric Price's Patent Candle Company.

Thurstaston: Perhaps more controversy has raged over this place-name than over any other name in the Hundred, barring Noctorum, and in spite of this or possibly on account of this, we appear to be as far off a decision as ever. The Domesday Book spelling is Turstaneton; 1326, Thurstaneston; 1352, Thurstaston; later, Thurstington. I will only say that it is probably Norse, and that the first syllable recalls to our mind, as do also the two Thorntons, that the Northmen were heathen and worshipped the god Thor.

Heswell (thirteenth century, Hasel-well): from two Norse words, Hassal and velle—the town of the hazels.

Inland from Heswell we find Thingwall—"the "town of the meeting," where the Norsemen held their local parliament and promulgated their laws. The "thing" usually met, says Canon Taylor, on some island, hill, or promontory.7

Those of you who know that part of Wirral must have been struck with the curiously abrupt little hill at Thingwall on which the mill now stands. It was doubtless on the slopes of this hill that the members of the little colony assembled to exercise their accustomed privileges of local selfgovernment, and one can still in imagination people its crest with groups of armed warriors, intently listening, as some venerable Norseman harangues the assembled multitude, propounds a new law, or incites them to some fresh foray by chanting the wild hero songs of their fatherland.

Barnston {Domesday Book, Berneston). Canon Taylor groups this as Norse (p. 117).

Thornton {Domesday Booh, Torintone; thirteenth century, Thoreton). Thorton is the original form, the n being merely euphonic.

Nesse. A pure Scandinavian word—Nasse, a promontory.

Neston. The farm on the promontory.

Denwall. The last syllable is doubtless the Norse velle.

Shotwick {Domesday Boole, Sotowiche; thirteenth century, Schotcwyche). The wick from the Norse vie, a bay. Whether the first syllable, shot, represents a man's name or describes a physical feature I know not, but we meet with it again on the other side of the Hundred, in Shotdale, softened into Shoddale.

Crabwall: the last syllable again the Norse velle.

Mickwell Brow in Neston.

Kirkby Walley has already been dealt with.

Birkenhead: it is difficult to understand how people can have gone on quietly accepting the palpably foolish explanation that is always given of Birkenhead—namely, that it is so called because it stood at the head of a stream called the Birket.

7 e.g., Tynwald Hill, Isle of Man. To this day, no law is valid in th island until it has been proclaimed from the summit of Tynwald H. ... t

Now, first of all, I can confidently assure you that there is more than abundant evidence to prove that no such stream as the Birket ever existed except in the imagination of the Ordnance Survey people. And, secondly, supposing for the sake of argument, that such a name existed, and that, as is laid down in the ordnance map, it is applied to that stream which runs from Newton Carr into Wallasey Pool, why on earth should a place which is situated eight miles from the source or head of that stream, and two miles at least from its mouth even, be called "the "head or source of the Birket"?

Of course it comes from the Norse word birlc, a birch tree, and hafod, a headland; and in support of this, we have more than ample evidence that it was a wooded headland in the name Woodside Ferry, and from the fact that it was frequently called in old documents Berket-wood-head.

Bromborough. Early form Brun-brce. Probably from a Norse word meaning a well; and this is borne out by the fact that there are several noticeable wells in the parish, particularly one which possesses petrifying qualities.

And, finally, Wh1tby, or the white town.

In addition to the evidence of Norse colonization deducible from the place-names of the various townships, we find scattered throughout Wirral a number of hamlet and field names of distinctly Norse origin, aad these in some cases in parishes where the townships have retained their English names. The only parish which I have had an opportunity of exhaustively examining—namely, Bidston—has yielded many interesting traces, and this in spite of the fact that all the township names—Bidston, Moreton, Claughton, and Saughall—are definitely English.

Taking then the test-words of Norse occupation —thwaite, dale, holme, and gill—we find them all well represented. On the marsh between Wallasey and Bidston, we have the great Salt Thwaite, Tassey's Thwaite, the Little Thwaite, Whinny Thwaite, the Cornhill or Corner Thwaite. On the boundary between Claughton and Bidston we find Lingdale—Lyng, a Norse word for heather (this name occurs in a document relating to the bounds of the parish, dated about 1300); and down on the Leasowes we have Lingholme, or, as it is often written, Lingham; and running into the Wallasey Pool, in Claughton, we have the Gillbrook, which has given its name to the Gillbrook estate, belonging to the Birkenhead Corporation.

The following are a few of the dales that I have met with in Wirral:—In Bromborough Parish, Dibbinsdale, so well known to all lovers of the picturesque, and, close to it, Anstubbledale and Shotdale or Shoddale; in Heswell, Puddy Dale; in Thurstaston, Tinkersdale, called in old documents Steyncolesdale; in Eastham, Coopersdale; in Woodchurch, Camesdale and Ramsdale in the township of Barnston, and Shockingdale in Thingwall township.

Finally, Mr. Black, in his report on the Manor of Tranmere, gives it as his deliberate opinion— and in support thereof deduces substantial proof— that the early name of Tranmere was Somerford, and that it is under this name that Domesday alludes to the manor. If this be the case, we have in the "ford" an example of the fords of the Scandinavian sea-rovers, which Canon Taylor describes as " pas"sages for ships up the arms of the sea, as in the "case of the fiords of Norway and Iceland, and "the firths of Scotland," and adds that "these "Norse fords are found on the coasts which were "frequented for purposes of trade and plunder." (Words and Places, p. 107.) Tranmere Pool certainly would be admirably adapted to shelter the Northmen's keels.

And now, having successively—and, I trust, to a certain extent successfully—dealt with the various periods of Wirral place-names, I will bring my too lengthy paper to a close, and will leave the treating of such names as Egremont, New Brighton, and the Pass of Thermopylae to the antiquaries of succeeding centuries.

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