1) An unploughed piece of land in the open field, used as a field division and also a right of way.

1558 two halfe acars of the midle dayleflat next the balke, Monk Fryston

1610 ploweth one furrow through of my grene balkes, Brandsby

1679 did plowe upp an ancient balke in Netherfeild, Mirfield

1711 hath left out a balke for a footpath of the outside of the hedge, being as convenient for any neighbours to go that way, Scholes. The word is on record from the Old English period and is an element in many early place-names.

dates 1558 1610 1679 1711

Related Content Loading...

2) Where wood is concerned, the balk is a strong, roughly squared piece of timber, a beam.

1433 ij quercubus squararatis pro balkes, York

1612-3 all baulk trees about the house and barne, Harrogate

1686 Two Balkes … to be delivered A foot Square through out & 19 foot in length, Conistone. It was used particularly of the tie-beams which stretched from wall to wall: 1696 upon the maine Bawke of the house, Leeds. These were used for hanging articles on, especially meat: 1559 Item flesh hanging of balkes, North Stainley

1618 Item beiff at baulks, Cottingley. When planks or boards were laid across the beams the space above came to be called ‘the balks’: 1549 fleche hengyng in the bawkes, Marrick

1647 one stampe of hay lying in the balkes in the lowe barne, Hampsthwaite

1783 finisht our hay which was on the Balks, Ovenden. Occasionally the reference was to a horizontal iron bar in the chimney: 1433 unum instrumentum ferreum in camino aulć, vocatum balk, York

1486 the yren balk in the chymnay, Hull.

spellings balks
dates 1433 1486 1549 1559 1612-1613 1618 1647 1686 1696 1783

Related Content Loading...

3) Of cloth, in the raw or unfinished state (OED).

1758 cloath betwixt 2s and 2s 6d per yard in bauk is called middles, Wakefield.

places Wakefield
dates 1758

Related Content Loading...

Photo by Kreuzschnabel CC BY-SA 3.0