Thursday, April 17, 2008

Local interest

Not sure whether I've already posted to The North East England History Pages, so I'll just presume I haven't. Here's what the site says about the origins of Haltwhistle as a place name...

"The name of this Northumbrian town in the heart of Hadrians Wall Country would seem straigtforward enough and not surprisingly is often interpreted as a railway station halt where locomotives blew their whistles. In the nineteenth century Haltwhistle was certainly the site of a Victorian railway station but the name is not in any way connected with this and is first recorded in the thirteenth century as Hautwisel. There are two parts to the name the first, haut, is Old French and means high ground. The second element is Twisel or Twisla and is a word of medieval origin meaning a fork in a road or river. In the case of Haultwhistle the twisla is a fork in the river where the River South Tyne is joined by the Haltwhistle Burn. Haltwhistle is situated on high ground located in the fork formed by the conjunction of the two watercourses. Other twisels in the north include Twizel near Berwick, Twizle near Morpeth and Twizell between Chester le Street and Stanley."

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