1) A name for a fence which acted as a boundary between cultivated land and the open hillside in upland parishes.
It was Angus Winchester who drew attention to the names given to the ‘fence’ which acted as a boundary between cultivated land and the open hillside in upland parishes. He discussed, among others, the terms felldyke, headgarth and acredike, and the last of these, with local variations, is well documented in Yorkshire. ‘Acre’ is a reference to the cultivated land although the precise meaning of the compound term may have differed from one community to another: c.1200 ad caput ipsius rivuli quod est in Acrewal et sic de Acrewall recte intransversum versus …, Beamsley
1334 et eciam fugare ad vulpes et lepores infra les Acredikes de Alverstan et Farmanby
1354 communa pasturć quć habeo vel habui … infra Acregarth in villis de Whiteby, Stakeseby, Neuham, Presteby . Among later references quoted by Winchester are akerdykes at Lartington in 1444 and akirgarthez at Sedbergh in 1457. It should be noted, though, that identical terms occurred away from the uplands. For example, in undated deeds of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, land in North Cave lay ‘next Ackerdyk’ and Akerdic occurred in Bempton, again undated.