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 Mashamshire

Historical Forms

  • Colserdale 1301 LS
  • Costerdale 1330 Ch
  • Kwustardhall 1416 YI
  • Cowsterdale 1616 NR
  • Colsterdale 1705 Pickhill


A clue to the interpretation of this name is furnished by a reference in 1330 (Ch) to “the grant of the said Joan of free passage through all Mashamshire to Costerdale, so that no one coming to Costerdale to the mine of the said monks for coals (carbonibus )…shall be held to bail.” The first element of the name may well be ME  colster , 'one who has to do with coals.' For the wide application of the suffix ster , v. Jespersen in MLR xxii. 129 ff.