1) A cowl was a tub or cask for holding or transporting water.

The OED says that it was applied especially to a tub that could be borne by two men on a cowl-staff: 1567 two knedynge tubbes, one skeppe, thre great Cowles, Fixby

1664 an old cowle, Elmswell.

places Elmswell Fixby
dates 1567 1664

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