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.

Whelter Beck, Crags & Knotts

Early-attested site in the Parish of Bampton

Historical Forms

  • Quilt', Quilter 1366 Clib
  • Whelter 1549 Lowth 1594 PR(Sh) 1644,1696 PR


Whelter Beck, Crags & Knotts, 1859OS , Quilt ', Quilter 1366 Clib 243, 249, Whelter 1549Lowth , 1594 PR(Sh), 1644, 1696 PR.From OIcel  hvilft (nom.pl. hvilftar ) 'a hollow, a coombe', used as a local name in West Iceland (Cleasby-Vigf s.v.); cf. Icel  Hvilftarhvilft (Franzen, LaxdON 71); the same word is found in the Faroes in such p.ns. as Hvilvtá , Hvilvtarskard , Hvilvtkinnavatn etc. (Matras, Fær 156, FærStn 25–6). It corresponds to Goth  hwilftri 'coffin' and is related to ON  hvalf , hvolf , holf (as in Laythwaite supra ) and OE  hwalf 'arch', 'hollow, concave' (cf. Jóhannesson 263). The name describes the great rocky amphitheatre which steeply rises 1200 ft from the craggy shore of Hawes Water at Whelter Knotts to the heights of Whelter Craggs (grid 83–4613). v. cragge , knǫttr .