There are not many places in Lancashire starting with the letter U (and none that I know personally), so instead I’ll look today at some ‘unusual’ place names and their meanings:
Bashall Eaves – the origin of this name is Old English, and comes from ‘becks-halgh’ meaning a hill by the brook. Eaves refers to the settlement being on the border of the forest (in this case the Forest of Bowland).
Chipping – there are several examples of this name in England, often with another name attached (e.g.Chipping Campden). The word comes from the Old English ‘ceapen’ meaning market. It was originally spelt ‘chepyng’. The village of Chipping in Lancashire was a thriving place during the Indistrial Revolution with 7 mills along the river. Now it's a picturesque village which has won several 'Best Kept Village' awards. Its Craft Centre holds the record for having been used as a shop for the longest continuous time in the UK, having been established in 1658 by a local woollen merchant.
Dolphinholme – nothing to do with the sea creatures, this comes from Scandinavian, possibly a Norseman called Tolfin. The word ‘holme’ means either an island in a river or lake, or low flat land near a river i.e. the River Wyre.
Foulridge – no, not offensive or smelly. It’s pronounce ‘Foal-Ridge’ which is actually its origin, as the word foal comes from the Anglo-Saxon word ‘fola’. It's situated on the Leeds-Liverpool Canal, and barge trips along the canal take visitors into the mile-long Foulridge Tunnel.
Much Hoole – the Old England word ‘hulu’ means shed, and the village has been spelt as Hull and Hole in the past. It was referred to as Magna (great) Hole in 1212, and later as Grett Whollen.
Oswaldtwistle – pronounced ‘ozzel-twizzel’ and often shortened to ‘Ozzie’. Twistle refers to a place where two brooks meet, and there is a legend that St Oswald, king of Northumbria in the 7th century, passed through the area which was then named in his honour. Of course, it could equally be named after a local farmer in the area! Nowadays its main attraction is 'Ozzie Mills', a textle mill now converted to a craft centre which also has an exhibition about the life in the mill in the past.
Winewall – not a stack of alcohol, sadly. The name comes from Win-wall, and is thought to refer to an ancient entrenchment on the hill