Potters Ridge

I have not taken a photo from this spot before. Honest. I moved a hundred metres south from Black Nab to be sure.

I have often wondered how Potters Ridge got its name. That low 25 metre high prominence behind Highcliff Nab. I think I’ve found out.

In 1806, Robert Chaloner, the Lord of the Manor, sold a couple of his farms, one of which was Cod Hill (Highcliffe, centre of photo) to Joseph Hickson , who was his agent. Subsequently, Hickson soon sold Cod Hill to a Ralph Potter of Girrick, near Moorsholm1Dixon, Grace. “Two Ancient Townships – Studies of Pinchinthorpe and Hutton Lowcross”. ISBN 0 9507827 2 6 1991.

Now this is not proof that Potters Ridge is named after Ralph Potter but surely it’s too much of a coincidence? Why, however, is another matter.

It seems that Mr. Potter had either, overstretched himself, or he had struggled to make a success of the farm. Probably a combination of the two. For, by 1812, he had sold Cod Hill to a Mr. J Ridley of Ayton. How could he have made his mark on the landscape in just six years?

Is there any other landscape feature which is named after a person? Roseberry of course. And Bilsdale, and Kildale, and Helmsley. Better qualify my query to post-conquest persons.

4 Replies to “Potters Ridge”

  1. I’m sure there are many landscape features named after people – it would make sense – but I doubt that ‘Roseberry’ is one of them. ‘Ros’ (later Roos or Rhos) is an ancient British (pre-Roman) word meaning upland or moorland, or “hillock, usually one where heather grows”. This seems a much more likely origin, with ‘berry’ being derived from the Old English (and earlier) name for hill or mountain (think ‘berg’).

    1. I’ve since thought of a few myself: Jackson’s Bank and Brian’s Pond.

      With Roseberry I think the consensus nowadays is that the name derives from the 12th-century ‘Othensberg’, Old Norse for Odin’s Hill. I feel a future post in the making.

      Ok, I accept Odin was a god, but it was just a discussion point.

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