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.

Dunmail Raise

Early-attested site in the Parish of St John's, Castlerigg and Wythburn

Historical Forms

  • Dunbalrase stone 1576 S
  • Dunbalrase stones 1610 Speed
  • Dunnimail or Dunmail-raise 1610 Denton
  • Drumwelrayes 1657 HMCxxv
  • Dunmaile-Raise 1671 Fleming
  • Drumelrayes 1684 MunRec


The second element of this name is ON  hreysi, 'cairn.' The first part is generally taken to be the Old Welsh  personal name Dunmail , borne by the penultimate king of Strathclyde. The history of the name is complicated by the existence of another example of the same compound near Long Marton (We). Machell (c. 1690), who had exceptional local knowledge, records a place named Dumbelraise at the meeting-point of the lordships of Long Marton, Milburn and Knock.There can be no topographical connection between the two names, and at present it can only be suggested that in the phrase 'Dunmail 's cairn,' there may be preserved a fragment of the lost legendary history of the north-west.