1) The springer is the supporting stone from which an arch ‘springs’, and the two words are typically found in the same context.

1682 two plaine stones at the impost or springing of the arch, Scriven. In 1705, Downham Bridge had one Arch of hewn stone twelve yards long betwixt springer and springer

on a smaller scale was the bow of five yards within the springers which described a sluice at the west end of Paythorne Bridge in 1687. In 1701, repairs to the east end of a bridge in West Bradford required one Land Stall to be built up to the Springer . The earliest reference is in the Elland Bridge contract of 1579 which referred to the setting of the … springers .

spellings impost springer
dates 1579 1682 1701 1705

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2) As a noun in a woodland context this had several related meanings. It was, for example, the young growth of trees, especially coppice trees.

1425 The forsaid Abbot sall noght be letted for to close the … wood and hald it in seuerell qwen hym lykes to fell his wode unto the tyme that the springe be reasonably waxen, Newton. It was also the word for a coppice itself: 1390 ‘all the wood in le spryng', Aislaby

1399 Pro xxj rodis de hegyng circa le spring in Langwath 21d. When a wood was managed so that a section might be felled in each year of the coppice cycle the sections could also be called ‘springs’: 1599-1600 The woodes beyng deuyded into 8 springes every yeare is one spring felled wich at 8 yeares growth is worth 20s the acre, Settrington. In some districts the term ‘spring wood’ became usual for a coppice: 1514 ‘the hedges between his Spryngewoddes and those of John Stone’, Shepley

1766 All such Trees & Polls as are set out to be felled in three Spring Woods in Quarmby: in the same document it was used as a verb and verbal noun in the sense of ‘to grow’ and ‘growing’: the future Springing and Growth of the said woods. At some stage the verb also came to mean ‘to fell’. It seems to have moved already towards that meaning in a lease of 1684 which referred to the last fall or spring of the same woodes … brush & underwood taken out … all sprung and cleansed, Tong

1743-4 Joseph Dyson for springing Hutchen Wood 15s, Kirkheaton. The Leeds Mercury of May 6 1740 has the following notice: To be Sold, The Spring Wood called Moseley Wood, in Cookridge … a large Quantity of Oak-Poles and Timber Wood proper for Carpenters and Coopers. Likewise a large Quantity of Birch Wood proper for Cloggers, Patten-Makers .

dates 1390 1399 1425 1514 1599-1600 1684 1740 1743-1744 1766

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3) The source or head of a well, included here because of the possible confusion with spring (2).

In many references the meaning is explicit: 1552 awarde that the heade sprynges of water begynyng to spryng at Lightleroydnoke shall cum and serue as well the howses of ... William Yllingworth as the howses of ... John Ramsden

1594 a place there called Uskell heade is a springe and springethe upon Usborne Common or mower ... descending ... to the river of Ouse, Great Ouseburn.

dates 1552 1594

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Photo by Kreuzschnabel CC BY-SA 3.0