1) These words appear to share the same meaning and to refer to a small piece of ground, either the site of a former dwelling, or land attached to the front of a dwelling, a garden.

In c.1540 there is a reference to j fronte sive tofti cum j columbario in Linthorpe, and j fronte sive tofti vasti in Ormsby. Later the word is used as the equivalent of curtilage or garden: 1629 foldes, fronntes, backesides, toftes, croftes, Buckden. The majority of the examples located are from North and East Riding sources and Canon Atkinson included the word ‘frontstead’ in his Cleveland glossary, saying it referred to the site or former site of a house. Among references that he identified is one for the rating of Ingleby Arncliffe: 1582-88: 16 builded fronts and 16 unbuilded fronts. The distinction is implicit in two later documents: in 1689 the reference is to two frontsteads, wherein two cottage houses lately stood and the second in 1742 to 1 frontstead or scite of cottage, and a little garth or yard. Note: 1688 Theakstone then answered ... that he would make a bonefire upon his owne frontstead let Mr Mayor doe what he would, Ripon.

spellings frontstead
dates 1582-1588 1688 1689 1742

Related Content Loading...

Photo by Kreuzschnabel CC BY-SA 3.0