Village Web Site Forum

Wednesday, February 11, 2004 12:51
Shaylings or shearlings?
The area of the village around Manse Way is referred to as "the shaylings" or possibly "the shearlings". Does anybody know why this is?

stan mawson
Monday, March 8, 2004 09:59
Webmaster wrote...


The area of the village around Manse Way is referred to as "the shaylings" or possibly "the shearlings". Does anybody know why this is?


I always believed the area was spelt Sheilings but if it is in fact Shearlings how about a connection with an area for shearing sheep ?

Sheep clipped or sheared are known as clippies or shearlings

david dryden
Thursday, May 29, 2008 06:18
hi im david ive been looking on the site i see you have been talking to my cousin valerie whittingham that lives in Qld it was her thats got me on to this site,it was great to find my granddad being a air raid warden joshua v clough ,i lived in harker st 1st on left went to school till i was 9 then came over here to australia i remember some names like bottomlay long bottom when you get old you ted to forget some of the potos ive been looking at brings back old memories,and thats what im looking for school potoes of betwen 1948-1952 maybe some one out there mite remember me and have some photo with me on them that thay can share with me, hope some one can help david
Sam Riley
Newton Rigg College
Thursday, May 29, 2008 10:26
I believe a modern corruption has occurred in the name of the area surrounding Manse Way. I have not research the historic meaning of the name but I was always brought up to call the area the ‘Shieldings’. This may be a Sutton’ers colloquialism, inferring that the relatively new estate shields the old village of Sutton from Crosshills and Glusburn.

What I can offer up on the historical front is what is known of the land use in the parish, on the far side of Holme beck. The area around the Thompson’s Wood Turners and the Holme Bridge is thought to have been a ‘Bull Field’. Where Bulls were kept safely away from the village and the other stock. This is indicated in the field name ‘Bull Common’ on the tithe map.

The field names on the tithe map which now lie under the Manse Way area make no reference to ‘shaylings’ ‘Sheilings’ ‘Shearlings’ or ‘Shieldings’. The Tithe Map instead reports a large number of names including the words ‘Beck’ or ‘Becks’, Which suggest there are named from the Old Norse (ON) meaning wet meadows, or other frequently inundated land (which makes sense as most adjoin Holme Beck). The Tithe Map also shows several fields in the area with ‘Holme’ or ‘Helm’ in name which from ON suggests dry areas amongst wet ground.

Given the suggestion of predominantly wet grazing in the area the use for sheep seams unlikely, as ‘woollybacks’ and water do not mix well, with cows or bulls being taller and less likely to soak up water, making them a more suitable use of such areas. However even given this modern trend historical evidence could suggest otherwise.

Later land use in the area would have been dominated by Sutton Fields Farm (The long stone building adjoining Crosshills football pitch opposite the changing rooms, with the flagstone yard now used as a track) of which I have little information.

The second main change then came when Hayfield House was built, with the football pitch area being enclosed as private grounds as far as the footpath, known as ‘Shut Lane’ from the Glusburn side, that runs over the 1900 bridge. Where gate was erected (The ornate posts of which still stand in the wall) to allow household staff to walk from the house to the only Baptist chapel in the area at the time in Sutton. This then followed a pre existing footpath along the beck side which was flagged as far as the first field (Flags still in place and remains can be seen of a gate stoop at ether end) which now runs through the gardens of houses that adjoin the beck on the Hawthorns.

None of these offer particularly good reasons as why the ‘Shielding’ type name evolved, the best place to look would be 'The place names of the West Riding of Yorkshire' VolXXXVI part VII edited by A.H. Smith recogmended by Paul Longbottom on the feed relating to the Goit. Personaly my money is on ‘Shielding’ as knowing the round about, half flippant way old villagers talk an area or estate seen to block their precious Sutton from those folk in Crosshills becoming known as the ’Shielding’ is not unlikely.

Other cases such as calling Sutton Mill the ‘East End’, in a quip insinuating it is as rough as the East end of London and titling the Old White Bear Estate in Crosshills ‘Sin City’ for the interesting marital goings on, in 70’s present strong surrounding case studies.
A former Holme Bridger
Monday, June 2, 2008 08:38
This is probably way off mark here but as a youngster I was always led to believe that Shearlings was the company responsible for building the whole estate.
As far as I'm aware it is spelt Shearlings but due to the Yorkshire twang it is always pronounced Sheelings.
Sam Riley
Newton Rigg College
Monday, June 2, 2008 09:34
This dose provide a very reasonable reason for the name and makes sense. My discussion above helps support this as there is no historical landscape reason for the name. Also as my discussion opens with the statement 'a modern corruption has occurred’ the argument that my knowing the area as the 'Shieldings' is still supported. This is as the name I know has obviously been corrupted from the company name by someone in the recent past in to the slightly comical 'Shieldings'. Thanks to the old Holme Bridger for filling the gap in, I think the webmaster has his answer now.

I also think this also provided an interesting modern example of how landscape place name evolve, when not formally written down and are only passed on by word of mouth. This has happen historically in several place through out the village such as Ellers and the ON relationship to Alder trees.
Pat Cockayne
Monday, June 2, 2008 21:29
I thought the area off Holme Lane was called the Sheilings. A "Sheiling" is a dwelling on a pasture or grazing land. As the homes were built on former fields, I assume this was the reason for the choice of the name.
Denis Pickles
Tuesday, June 3, 2008 09:06
My money's on Pat!
Sam Riley
Newton Rigg College
Tuesday, June 3, 2008 13:01
Most interesting; I have discussed this with several people including Doris Riley, the general sentiment is that the area did not have any name involving the ‘Sheel’ part of the word before the housing estate was built. Doris thought there may be a contention between the Old English (OE) ‘ings’ ending (which means wet of flooded land/meadow in various ways) and the area, which is supported by the field name on the 1841 Tithe Map which gives the area Old Norse (ON) names associated with wet areas. These are fairly constant across all the fields in the area and involve Beck or Holme in various forms or combinations.

In terms of past occupation of the fields the estate was built on, no building other than Sutton Fields Farm exist in the area from 1841 to 1935, on the ordnance surveys through these periods. That is not to say a dwelling existed prior to the first survey, however as mentioned, no ‘sheel’ type name is reflected through labels on the maps. This slightly serves to diminish this theory as names from disused areas tend to stick around in the field names and map labels.

What we need to do to solve this little problem is go back to the planning applications, newspapers and other records from the 1960’s and see who applied for the planning etc. on the site or find someone who is certain what the developers were called. This would solve the question over whether the area is named after the developers. If found not to be named after the developers then we should look deeper at the other possible reasons.
Tuesday, June 3, 2008 13:37
Many thanks for all the contributions, I didn't think the answer would prove to be so elusive!
Yvonne Wiseman
Thursday, June 5, 2008 05:06
I live on the Hawthorns, we have our deeds/original paperwork dated 1938 & 1960 relating to the land.
Paul would you like to view & resolve this matter?
Kind regards,
Thursday, June 5, 2008 07:21
Hi Yvonne, yes that would be great thanks - I'll send you an email.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008 20:42
Thanks Yvonne for the loan of the documents, they're very interesting.

I couldn't find a definite answer but it appears the name is relatively recent. A 'Notice of Approval of Plans' by Skipton Rural District Council for Alvic Construction (Northern) Ltd of Bradford, dated 21st July 1970 states "proposed work in connection with building at The Sheilings, Sutton described as three bungalows and thirty-one pairs of houses". Another dated 3rd August 1970 states "to erect 64 semi-detached houses and 4 detached bungalows with garages to west of the Sheilings, Holme Lane, Cross Hills". These refer to the area that became The Hawthorns and The Coppice.

Manse Way, Meadow Lea and Rowan Garth were built earlier and a plan shows this area as "Development by B B Kirk".

Prior to that it's referred to as Sutton Fields Poultry Farm in a lease dated 1957 referring to a proposed pumping station and rising main, and prior to that the fields are referred to on plans as "Pasture".

Darren Green
Sunday, November 2, 2008 12:51
Big hello to all in Sutton In Craven
As a child living in Sutton I always understood that the housing estate off Holme Lane was called the "The Shielings" which in the 10th century would have been
a summer pasture, or shieling. The shieling may have continued into the Middle Ages as a vaccary, or dairy farm.

(Barlby, Selby)
Glusburn (ex Suttoner)
Sunday, November 2, 2008 14:46
hi darren
check out the youth club pic i have sent in. you are on it
Graham Smith
Paul Longbottom
Sunday, November 2, 2008 19:56
Just a further thought to the Shieling debate, the Tithe Map of 1841 shows a field named 'helm' smack in the middle of the modern sheilings estate. According to A.H. Smith (editor of 'the place names of the west riding of yorkshire), helm is an old English word meaning 'cattle-shelter'. A shelter would be quite feasible in a summer pasturage site and does possibly offer some evidence to substantiate the antiquity of the shieling name.
Michael Swan
Tuesday, November 4, 2008 13:59
I was born in Sutton and moved into Rowan Garth when it was built (and then immediately flooded). The wider development has always been known as 'the Shielings' which is believed to be of Nordic and ancient English heritage being a corruption of 'scela' and 'skali' meaning 'shield' and 'hut'. Basically, it is a lowland pasture for animals where farmers would have a temporary dwelling for themselves and ther families. Clearly, it is an ancient site, as are those adjacent to it. I submit that the name pre-dates all written records.

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