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.


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

Historical Forms

  • Fornesate 1303 Ipm
  • Fornset 1533–8 ECP
  • Fornsett 1537 FF
  • Furnesyde 1530 FF
  • Furnesschede 1533–8 ECP
  • Forneside 1552 FF
  • Fernside 1660 CantWviii


There can be little doubt that this is 'Forni 's sætr,' or 'hill pasture.'A compound of sætr and the ON  adjective forn , 'old,' is intrinsically improbable. It is curious that Forni and saetr are combined again in this county in the inversion compound Setforn ' which appears as a field-name in Muncaster infra 426.