Hard Knott and Hard Knott Pass
Early-attested site in the Parish of Birker and Austhwaite
- Hardecnuut c.1210 Furness
- (summitatem del) Ardechnut 1242 ib
- Hard-knot 1610 Camden 1741 Sykes 1777 NB
- Wynscarth, Wainscarth 1242 Furness
Wainscarth, which was the original name of Hard Knott Pass, is clearly identical with Wainscarre in Blyth (PN Nt 69). It is a compound of ME wain , 'waggon' (from OE wægen ) and ON skarð, 'gap' or 'cleft,' that is 'cleft through which a waggon could go.' Cf. Wainfleet (L) (DEPN).
The name Hard Knott itself is a compound of ON harðr , 'hard,' and knútr , 'knot,' meaning 'craggy hill.' A similar change of th to d occurs in Ward Hall supra 310, from ON varði , and in Guards.It is remarkable that a doublet of this name is recorded in the neighbourhood of Loweswater in the 13th century. A final concord of 1230 (FF ) refers to condosium ('slope') collis qui vocatur Hardecnut .The latter hill is probably identical with Great Borne in Ennerdale (infra 385), of which no early forms have been found.