Monday, 15 September 2014

The Isle of Axholme - A bit about the name

As you know I live in the Isle of Axholme and as promised here is my first post about the area.  I thought I would start by exploring the origins of the name Isle of Axholme.

The Isle is located in the county of North Lincolnshire (the largest town being Scunthorpe).  The main towns that make up the Isle are Crowle, Epworth and Haxey each with their own history and different identities.  The name Isle of Axholme is made up of different parts.  

The Isle part derives from before the area was drained when much of the area was surrounded by marshland which left the towns and villages virtual islands.  The rivers Don, Idle and Trent ran around the area effectively creating a watery boundary and seperating the region from Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and the rest of Lincolnshire. 

Old map of Isle of Axholme showing rivers and drains
Image details: 'Image taken from page 102 of 'The history and topography of the Isle of Axholme, being that part of Lincolnshire which is west of Trent' from The British Library, via Flickr
This map shows the area after the drainage system of dykes was designed and created by Cornelius Vermuyden between 1626-1629. The river Don was later diverted to its current course. 

The word Axholme has evolved over time to become the word that it is today and consists of a mixture of Celtic, Saxon and Danish.  Axholme is thought to originally have started off as Axeyholme and over time got shortened to Axeholme.  If you split Axeyholme up Axe means water, ey is a word for Island.  The word Holme is the Danish influence and means an island or a grassy bank close to water. 

These days, while evidence of the drainage is clearly seen with the dykes and the vast fields of fertile farmland, the area is well connected and boats are no longer necessary! 

If your interested in further reading a really informative website is

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the website plug, pleased to see it seems to be doing what I wanted it to, inform and educate about the Isle.