Blennerhasset and Torpenhow
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Blennerhasset and Torpenhow is a civil parish in the Allerdale district of Cumbria, England. According to the 2001 census it had a population of 437, reducing to 423 at the 2011 Census. It includes the villages of Blennerhasset grid reference and Torpenhow at and the smaller settlement of Kirkland Guards at .
The local pronunciation of Torpenhow is //, which causes consternation to those living outside West Cumbria, who would use the more intuitive pronunciation //. Blennerhasset is pronounced blen-RAY-sit rather than the more intuitive BLE-ner-has-set.
'Blennerhasset' derives from the Old Norse 'heysætr', 'hay shieling', which has been added to a British place-name containing 'blaen', 'top'. The '-er-' part in the middle " is best explained by Ekwall  on the supposition that the full first element corresponded to Welsh 'blaen-dre', 'hill farm' ".
Torpenhow was etymologized as "Tosti's howe" (with howe reflecting Old Norse haugr "hill, mound") in The place-names of Cumberland (1950), against a tradition identifying the name as an example of tautology in placenames, first proposed by Denton (1688). Denton interpreted tor, pen and how as three elements all with the base meaning "hill". The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Placenames (4th ed. 1960) accepted Denton's torr+pen+howe etymology (against the 1950s "Tosti" proposal), but notes that torr+penn is not tautological, but expresses the idea of "top or breast of the hill", to which howe was added in a (single) tautology.
Blennerhasset Mill (at grid reference ) is on the south bank of the River Ellen. Plans are in hand to re-establish the mill and make it energy neutral by having it produce its own energy from a rebuilt water wheel.
- Listed buildings in Blennerhasset and Torpenhow
- Torpenhow Hill, a famous but apparently spurious hill
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- "Parish population 2011". Retrieved 19 June 2015.
- Roman Britain
- Ekwall, Eilert (1922). The place-names of Lancashire. Manchester: Chetham Society.
- Armstrong, A. M.; Mawer, A.; Stenton, F. M.; Dickens, B. (1950). The place-names of Cumberland. English Place-Name Society, vol.xxi. part 2. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 265–66.
- Armstrong, 1950, p.266
- Thomas Denton: A Perambulation of Cumberland, 1687-8, including descriptions of Westmorland, the Isle of Man and Ireland
- Denton apprarently exaggerated the example to a "Torpenhow Hill", which would quadruple the "hill" element, but the existence of a toponym "Torpenhow Hill" is not substantiated. Francis, Darryl (2003). "The Debunking of Torpenhow Hill". Word Ways. 36 (1): 6–8.
- the same etymology is also accepted y David Mills, 2011, A Dictionary of British Place-Names.
- Francis, Darryl (2003). "The Debunking of Torpenhow Hill". Word Ways. 36 (1): 6–8.
- Cumbria County History Trust: Blennerhasset and Kirkland (nb: provisional research only - see Talk page)
- Cumbria County History Trust: Torpenhow and Whitrigg (nb: provisional research only - see Talk page)
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