Although the Weald Moors are now largely agricultural land, they were among the last parts of the area to come into cultivation. The word weald (which elsewhere means open uplands or waste) in this context means "wild": the "wild moors". A moor, in Shropshire usage, was a marsh.
The marshy character of the area was due to an underlying accumulation of peat, leading to waterlogged land; in the mediaeval period most larger settlements had developed on its edges. Between the mid 16th and mid 17th centuries, there were a series of lawsuits as attempts were made to drain and enclose sections of the moor, leading to disputes over parish and township boundaries. Even after heavy draining through drainage ditches, much of the land is suitable only as sheep pasture, being too boggy to bear cattle or grow other crops.
Even now, the villages on the moors are relatively small and isolated, although the northern suburbs of Telford are encroaching onto the area, which is roughly centred on the village of Kynnersley. The area's name is still referenced in the names of the villages Eyton upon the Weald Moors and Preston upon the Weald Moors. Some parts of the moors are known by local names, such as the Tibberton and Cherrington Moors near the villages of the same name.
- Cameron, K. English place names Taylor & Francis, pp.104-105
- Darby and Terrett, The Domesday Geography of Midland England, Cambridge UP, 2009, pp.156-157
- Winchester, A. Discovering parish boundaries, Osprey, 2002, p.44
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