1) A large house of a local landowner; the word was used later, jokingly, for names of common land.

Although this is a familiar and well-used word it has one or two important shades of meaning. It was, of course, used to distinguish the house of ‘a territorial proprietor’ and it occurs from the Old English period with that meaning. A place-name such as Lascelles Hall in Lepton is on record from 1434 and is evidence in itself of the status of the occupying family. The emerging gentry in the Tudor period wished for similar status, and place-names reflect their aspirations: 1565 ‘the capital messuage called Okewell alias Okewell Hall’

1609 ‘the manor of Roids alias Roids Hall’, North Bierley. Later generations may have been poking fun at that social climbing when the encroachments they made on the commons were given names such as Bracken Hall, Cabbage Hall, Hullot Hall and Moldwarp Hall. These names date mostly from the 1700s.

dates 1565 1609

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