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

  • Scrauing(h)e 1086 DB
  • Scrauin 1167 P
  • Screuin, Screvin, Screvyn 1173–85 YCh513 13 YDix c.1219 Fees c.1295 Ext 1301 YI 1545 FF
  • Screven c.1230 Vyner
  • Skreuyne 1301 YDix
  • Screving(e) 1208,1584 FF
  • Scryvinge 1567 Visit
  • Skriven(e), Scriven(e), Scryven(e) 1301 YI 1442 BM 1467 Pat 1481 Fabr 1645 PRFrn
  • Screwyn 1372 MinAcct
  • Scryueyn 1379 PT
  • Scryevyn 1498 MinAcct


Both Moorman and Ekwall regard Scriven as an -ing derivative of OE  scæf 'hole, pit', and though there are some five spellings with -ing (h ) the great body of material makes it certain that here as in Birkin iv, 16supra these are merely analogical substitutions from genuine -ing names; early spellings with -in and -en are abnormal for the latter. We must start therefore with an OE  *screfen, which is probably a secondary noun-formation in -en1 of OE  scræf 'pit'. Such formations are not uncommon (cf. EPN i, 151). OE  screfen would denote something like 'the hollow place, place with pits'; there are old quarries and gravel pits on the north side of the village and on Coney Garth (infra ). OE  screfen would be the normal i -mutated form of WGerm  *skrafinnju (Bülbring § 168). On the later development to Scriven cf. Phonol. § 17.

Places in the same Parish

Early-attested site

Other OS name