light

1) In a place-name including 'tree', to indicate light tree cover.

‘Tree’ place-names which have ‘light’ as the first element include Lighthazles in Soyland, and Lightollers in Rochdale which is close to the county boundary. They are of a type and can be contrasted with Thickhollins, almost certainly descriptive of woods or sections of woods where the tree cover was light, not dense. Oliver Rackham described ‘lights’ as wooded and grassy compartments in a forest and this plural form occurs as an element in two neighbouring Calder Valley place-names: 1386 Horbury lightes

1525 the Comon called the Lightes , Ossett.

spellings lights
places Horbury Ossett
dates 1386 1525

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2) To settle or alight.

1642 neare to the place wheare they [the bees] lighted, Elmswell. With the preposition ‘into’ it meant to come across by chance: 1669 goeing unto the mores to worke, light into the company of Mr Thomas Canby, Thorne. In conjunction with ‘of’ it signified to find or discover: 1729 took purpose to travil into the west of England to get imployment ... could not light of any work, Craven.

dates 1642 1669 1729

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Photo by Kreuzschnabel CC BY-SA 3.0