Crown Flatt

1) Linked to open fields, probably referring to strips which had a pronounced bend or traversed a hummock.

Smith listed these two West Riding place-names, one in Ossett and the other in Dewsbury, but he offered no explanation of their meaning. He compared the two and was apparently satisfied that ‘Crown’ could be taken at face value. I believe he was wrong and that the first element is more likely to be Old English crumb meaning ‘bent’ or ‘crooked’. Early examples of this element are on record, for example: 1219 Crumelandis, Crofton

1236 Crumbacre, Kirkleatham

1346 one rood called Croumbeland, Bingley. Other early references are undated but clearly from the thirteenth or fourteenth centuries: they include: Crumbacre, Barforth

Crumlandis, Brinsworth and Crumlandes, Ardsley. Where a sequence of names is available the transition from ‘crumb’ to ‘crown’ is implicit. In Ossett: 1538 a half rood of land lying on Crowmeland butt

1584 one selion lies on Crownelandes. Similarly in Huddersfield: 1549 Cromlaundes

1607 Crownlands. The context in these cases links the names with the open field, probably referring to ‘shuts’ or groups of strips which either had a pronounced bend or traversed a hummock. In some cases what had been a generic became a distinctive place-name: ‘crumb’ was replaced by ‘crown’ when the meaning was no longer transparent.

spellings Crown Lands crum crumb
dates 1200-1399 1219 1236 1346 1538 1549 1584 1607

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Photo by Kreuzschnabel CC BY-SA 3.0