Archaeology - Place names in our Historic Landscape

Ref: C3674635

The names given to the places we live in are always fascinating. Sometimes obvious, other times strange and evocative. Studying place names can be a form of investigatory archaeology or landscape history that is fun, easy and doesn’t need any digging (in the ground anyway). Join us to gain an insight into the types of names used from Celts to Normans, Romans to Anglo Saxons and Vikings. Find out how we can plot the names of settlements onto maps to see who settled our landscape and find out how names of fields and other landscape features can help us understand the past. An example will be to look at the place names in West Yorkshire to see if we can see a pattern of Viking Age settlement in our region. All of this in a convivial atmosphere ideal for beginners in history to feel confident to talk about the past. Questioning and discussing with expert guidance from your tutor.

Course aim

We often spot interesting place names in the landscape around us. Join us to think about using place names to understand the people who went before us.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Demonstrate in discussion an understanding of different types of place name from different periods of time.
  • Demonstrate the confidence to have an opinion about using place names to understand the old Kingdom of Elmet.
  • Participate in discussion of the Early Medieval; British, Anglo Saxon and Viking Age place names of West Yorkshire.
  • Participate in creating a plot of Viking Age place names along the Aire and Calder Valley.
  • Participate in listing local place and field names in a township from the Aire and calder Valley.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • A selection of materials and basic equipment will be provided but you are welcome to bring additional materials with you

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation
  • You could progress to Higher Education courses. Follow link to the PEARL website for information
  • Access the WEA What Next? booklet here

Download full course information sheet

Archaeology - Place names in our Historic Landscape


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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