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

  • Heolthwaitis c.1280 Furness
  • Shewltath 1564 PR(Crosth)
  • Shulthet 1565 ib
  • Sheweltwhait, Shoultwhait 1567 ib
  • Shoulethwate 1578 Cocker
  • Shelthot 1565 PR(Crosth)
  • Shelthwat mosse 1602 Derwent


The second element is þveit. The form from c. 1280 justifies the identification of the first element with ON  hjól , 'wheel.' The place is on the upper course of Naddle Beck, and the name may refer to a mill-wheel. The modern initial Sh - results from a sound-development similar to that which has produced Shap (We) from OE Hēap , Shipton (PN NRY 15–16, PN ERY 228) from OE  hēope and tūn , and Shetland from ON  Hjaltland .