1) An open field term: literally ‘a dole or share in front’.
The word has first been noted in undated thirteenth-century charters: unam fordal iacet super le Crosclif, Lepton
le fordolesfeld, Flockton. It could evidently be arable or grassland: a grant in Cowick referred in 1316 to ‘meadow lying in le Fordol’ which was located between other holdings, and in 1343 ‘one selion lay in le Fordoles’ in Flockton, between other men’s lands. In a dispute about tithes in Ferrybridge in 1422 the boundary descended to ‘the water of Ayre up to the point of Foredales’. It seems likely to be a regional variant of foreland, and both words gave rise to minor place-names.