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 //. Those living outside West Cumbria would use the more intuitive pronunciation //. Blennerhasset is pronounced // blen-RAY-sit rather than the more intuitive // BLEN-ər-hass-it.
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' ".
Interpretations of Torpenhow have developed over time. In Place-Names of Cumberland (1950) Torpenhow was etymologized as "Tosti's howe" (with howe deriving from Old Norse haugr 'hill, mound'), against a tradition identifying the name as an example of tautology in place-names, first proposed by Denton (1688). Denton interpreted tor, pen and how as three elements all with the base meaning "hill". Ekwall's Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-names (4th ed. 1960) accepted Denton's torr+pen+howe etymology (against the 1950s "Tosti" proposal), but notes that torr+penn is not tautological. He expresses the idea of "top or breast of the hill", to which howe was added in a (single) tautology. The most recent published etymology is the '"[r]ocky summit" to which was added "hill-spur"', the three elements of Torpenhow deriving from, Old English torr 'a rock, a rocky outcrop, a rocky peak', Primitive Welsh penn 'head, end, top, height, a hill', and Old English hōh 'a heel; a sharply projecting piece of ground'.
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 Archived 2007-07-14 at the Wayback Machine.
- 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.
- English, University of Nottingham - Institute of Name Studies School of. "Key to English Place-names". kepn.nottingham.ac.uk. Retrieved 2018-06-20.
- 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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