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In parts of Scotland and northern England the ‘pant’ was a public fountain or water supply and the earliest reference is in 1661 in Northumberland. In Cumberland, Lancashire and Westmorland it was more commonly the word for a cesspit or sump, especially the pool below a midden or dung-heap and the gutter down which waste water flowed. The word was used also at Spurn and along Yorkshire’s east coast for pools left by unusually high tides. Where it occurs in the place-names Pant Head and Pant Foot, it seems likely to have had the Cumbrian meaning. Smith suggested that these two names, and similar examples in Westmorland, derive from Welsh pant which means valley but the origin remains unknown.

places Spurn

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