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.

Skygates Farm

Early-attested site in the Parish of Warter

Historical Forms

  • Scaydgat 1185 Warter
  • Skaythegate early13th ib
  • Scaythegate 1278 ib


Skygates Farm (6″) is Scaydgat 1185Warter , Skaythegate early 13th ib., Scaythegate 1278 ib. The first element of this name is OScand  skeið but its sense is difficult to determine. It might possibly be used in the same way as OScand  hesta -skeið 'horse-racing track' (as in Hesketh, PN NRY 198), the whole name meaning 'road used as a race-course' (v. gata ); it is worth noting that a nearby valley is called Race Dale. Alternatively, we may have the meaning 'boundary,' which Whitehall (Essays and Studies in English , Michigan 1935, 73 ff.) has suggested for some place- names like Scaitcliffe (La). It is difficult to say what boundary is involved, for the Roman road to which the name refers goes straight through the middle of the parish; the section called Skygates climbs the end of a steep ridge.