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 Escrick

Historical Forms

  • Ascri 1086 DB
  • Ascric 1156–7 YCh354
  • Eskrik(e), Escrik(e), Eskryk(e) 1169 P 13th Font 1524 Bev
  • Eskrich 1230 P
  • Escheric 1190 P
  • Eskerik(e), Escerik(e), Eskeryk(e) 13th 1227,1241 FF 1504 FF
  • Eskerick, Eskeryck 1227 FF 1279–81 QW 1282 Ebor
  • Eskrig, Eskrigg, Eskrigge 1282 Ebor 1563,1601 FF
  • Eschkrike 1290 YI
  • Escris 1336 Ch
  • Estrik 1355 Ipm
  • Estryge 1546 YChant
  • Estcrick als. Eskirke als. Eskrigg 1607 FF


There is little doubt that an OE  word *ric existed though it is not on record outside place-names. It is certainly found in Langrickgate supra 237 and Wheldrake infra 269, possibly in Reighton supra 107, and perhaps Riccall supra 265. It also occurs in three unidentified names, Sandrikcroft 1339Extent (in Skeffling), Langrikdayl 1339 ib. (in Easington), and Bawdryk or Baldryk , a sewer in Hedon (Nicholson 88). Ekwall (RN 370) notes other examples, such as Rastrick (WRY), Lindrick (Nt), the common stream-name Skitterick (NRY freq , WRY), and notes the possibility of this word in Lostrigg (Cu) and OE  Midderice (BCS 814), etc. In DEPN 368 he gives further examples, Chatteris (C), etc., and to these may be added Lindrick (2 in WRY), Lendrick (WRY), Cookridge (ib.), and an unidentified Hetherik 1291 Pat (in Harewood, WRY). Some names in PN NRY connected there with hrycg may also have to be taken into account, particularly Gaterigg (161) and Askrigg (261), where the spelling -rik , etc. is not uncommon. Ekwall connects this common element OE  *ric with MHGer ric 'a narrow road, a pass,' Swed  dialect rek , Norw  reik 'stripe, furrow,' OScand  reik 'parting of the hair,' all belonging to the root raik , rik , etc., with which is also connected OE  rǣcan 'to reach, stretch,' and there is no doubt that a word ric meaning 'stream, ditch' is found in some of these names (Skitterick , Baldryk , Midderice , etc.). The topography of some of the places, however, also suggests a meaning nearer to that of the allied words. Askrigg (NRY) is on a long narrow ridge between two streams, Rastrick (WRY) is on the end of a ridge between two small valleys, Lendrick (ib.) is the name of a long narrow hillside overlooking Bramham Beck, whilst Escrick and Wheldrake are at opposite ends of a long ridge. These features, together with the fact that the element is frequently combined with tree-names ash (v. askr , eski ) and lime (v. lind ), rather point to the notion of strip, and it may well be that Escrick and Lindrick refer not to streams distinguished by such trees but to a line of these trees or a narrow strip of land where they grew; the presence of ridges would clearly be fortuitous. In some cases, too, as on the ridge between Escrick and Wheldrake and on the ridge at Cookridge (WRY), and elsewhere, we have ridgeways, suggestive of association with MHGer ric 'a narrow road.' Finally, we have the simple meaning 'strip of land' in Langrickgate supra 237.v. Addenda lx.

One hesitates at making a definite choice for either Escrick or Wheldrake, for at both places we have a stream as well as a narrow ridge with a ridgeway joining the two, and in the former at any rate we have to allow for the simple meaning 'strip of land on which ashtrees grow.'

Places in the same Parish

Other OS name

Major Settlement