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 Carlatton

Historical Forms

  • Carlatun' 1158 P 1371 Rental
  • Karlaton 1169 Laner 1294 Pat
  • Karlatun 1187,1230 P
  • Carlaton 1190,1203,1204,1205 P 1348 Cl
  • Carleton 1197,1199,1201 P 1202 CR
  • Carlatton 1200 P 1613 Naworth
  • Carlattayne 1597 Border
  • Cornlatun 1220 Pat
  • Carlauton 1242 Ch


It is not always easy to be certain whether forms Carlatun , Carlaton , Karlatun , Karlaton , or even Carleton , refer to this place or to Carleton in St Cuthbert, or Carleton by Penrith, but the most important point for the interpretation is to note that forms referring beyond question to Carlatton all have persistent a in the second syllable.

The interpretation of this name is difficult and one cannot be sure even of the site of the original settlement which gave name to the parish. As suggested by Ekwall (DEPN), the forms latton , lauton may well go back to OE  lēactūn, 'kitchen garden' (cf. the history of East Layton (PN NRY 300), with early forms Latton , Laghton , and much the most common, Laton ). The form Cornlatun suggests that the first element may be an early form of the name of Cairn Beck (supra 6) which flows close by the various places now named Carlatton Demesne, Middle and Mill, and the site of Carlatton church. If so, the whole name would denote 'vegetable garden by the Cairn river.' But it is also possible that the name may originally have been Anglo-Scandinavian Karlatún (cf. Carleton infra 148) in which, under British influence, the accent has been shifted to the second syllable, as in Prestatyn (Flintshire), from OE  prēosta tūn . It would be unwise to lay much stress on the isolated 13th-century forms Cornlatun , Carlauton .