English Place-name Society

Survey of English Place-Names

A county-by-county guide to the linguistic origins of England’s place-names – a project of the English Place-Name Society, founded 1923.


Major Settlement in the Parish of Knaresborough

Historical Forms

  • Archendene, Arghendene 1086 DB
  • Herchenden' 1166 P
  • Archendun' 1200 Cur
  • Erkeden 1177 P 1421 Pat
  • Arkeden' 1200,1201 Cur
  • Arkenden(n) 1200 1204–9,1213 YChx 1546 YChant 1614 FF
  • Arkynden 1379 PT
  • Arkyndan, Arckyden 1457,1458 FountBurs
  • Great Arkyndeyn 1563 Miscii
  • Erkinden, Erkynden 1246 Ass17 1304 Pat 1410 Testiii
  • Erkenden(e) 1276 RH 1279–81 QW c.1295 Ext 1521 KnaresWill
  • Herkenden 1303 KF
  • Erkendale 1301 YI
  • Arkendall 1573 NCyWills 1583 FF 1601 PRFrn
  • Arkendaile 1597 SessnR
  • Arkendale 1605 PRAll 1611 FF
  • Ackindell 1656 WillS


There is an OE  eorcon found only in the compound eorcnan -stān 'precious stone' and as a theme in such pers.ns. as Eorconbeorht or Eorconwald ; it corresponds to OHG  erchan 'genuine' and to Goth  aírkns in the derivatives un -aírkns 'unholy' and aírkniþa 'genuineness'; the root meaning is 'clear' (Feist s.v.). Ekwall therefore makes the suggestion that the first el. of this p.n. might be a stream-name.But topographically this is improbable as there is no stream at Arkendale except a couple of small ditches some distance from the village (which stands on a hill). The facts rather favour his alternative suggestion of an OE  hypocoristic pers.n. Eorcna (derived from names like Eorconwald , etc.) or Eorcon (in an uninflected form in the p.n.); this pers.n. is not recorded but is found in Yorkshire Wood Sx 521. 'Eorcon's valley', v. denu (which refers to one of the hol- lows amongst the small hills hereabout). On the early appearance of Ark - for Erk - cf. Ardsley i, 290supra . The ultimate replacement of OE  denu by dale (v. dalr ) is paralleled by other p.ns. including Finsdale ii, 182, Oakdale v, 100supra , Lothersdale vi, 36 and Coverdale vi, 31infra .

Places in the same Parish

Early-attested site

Other OS name