helm

1) A regional term for an outbuilding.

Place-name evidence take the word’s history back to the twelfth century and as a vocabulary item it is on record soon afterwards: 1309-10 Pro emendacione cuiusdam domus apud Preston et j helme iiijs iiijd, Bolton Priory

1420-1 ‘le Helm within the park’, Kippax. Evidence from the sixteenth century suggests that it was then an open-fronted shelter for wains and carts and it is likely that a loft was used as storage space for husbandry gear, straw and wood. ‘Helm wood’ or the like is a frequent term, especially in East Riding documents and it may have included or referred to the wood of which the helm was constructed: 1510 To Richard my soone … the helme tymber, Rotsea

1535 Item wode on the helme, xijd, Mappleton

1577 iij stayes [ladders] with a helme woodd an apaltree [axaltre?] with other woode, North Frodingham

1581 certaine woode within the garthe bothe the helme wood and other smale wood with two fleakes and two yates and other wood, South Cave. West Riding examples include: 1668 1 helme, 11 loads of wood, Ł4. 8, Selby

1676 In the Fould 1 helme, 1 yate with the powles belonge to the helme, Barley. There are several references to props or poles in connection with helms and that may imply that it was a simple timber structure which could easily be erected and taken down: 1589 Item 16 sparres & an helme prop, South Cave. In a Latin text of 1519, reference is made to totum meremium lignorum pertinens iiij helmis, Skelton. The teazle growers in Yorkshire used ‘temporary wooden sheds or ellums’, almost certainly a spelling which reflects the dialect pronunciation of ‘helm’. One such structure is shown in George Walker’s Costumes of Yorkshire.

spellings helm wood helm timber
dates 1309-1310 1420-1421 1510 1519 1535 1577 1581 1589 1668 1676

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