Author Topic: "the Lizard" or Lizard Farm in Norfolk  (Read 177 times)

Offline witchetty

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"the Lizard" or Lizard Farm in Norfolk
« on: Tuesday 30 June 20 04:21 BST (UK) »
Does anyone know why some places in Norfolk have the word Lizard or Lizards attached?

There is a locality called "the Lizards" in Foulsham.

I did find a reference that said "These are probably the lands mentioned in General Skippon's will by the name of Beck-lizard, etc., and bequeathed to his daughter" (History and Antiquities of Foulsham: In Norfolk by Thomas Quarles)

However that doesn't explain why the property is called that in the first place.

Bylaugh has or had "Lizard Common".
Swanton Morley had a property named "The Lizard".
Wymondam has a road named The Lizard, where there was once a property named Lizard House. Was the house named after the road? or the road after the house?

I realise that a promontory might be called the Lizard because it derives from some ancient word that seemed pertinent at the time.

However these are inland villages.

Is this just another example of the vagaries of English place names?

Online gaffy

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Re: "the Lizard" or Lizard Farm in Norfolk
« Reply #1 on: Tuesday 30 June 20 05:30 BST (UK) »

Wymondam has a road named The Lizard, where there was once a property named Lizard House. Was the house named after the road? or the road after the house?


The Lizard at Wymondham comprises three areas of what was meadow pasture:
https://thelizardwymondham.co.uk/what-where/

A Norfolk newspaper in 1841 referred to the area as 'the Common Pasture of Wymondham, called the Lezure or Lizard'.  With that in mind, my guess is that its derivation may be the same as in the following reference to the Lizards near Cleadon in the far north of England, meaning meadow pasture: 'To the north east is also the oddly named Lizards that, unlike the Cornish Lizard Point has a Celtic derivation, in this context means meadow pastures from the Old English ‘leasowe’, although the first documentary reference to the area is the Norman French ‘Le Lezure’ in 1649.'

Source (page 91):
http://www.limestonelandscapes.info/media/12402/Cleadon-Village-Atlas-03i---Cleadon-Archaeology-and-history-by-Penny-Middleton/pdf/CleadonAtlasPartThreei.pdf

Offline witchetty

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Re: "the Lizard" or Lizard Farm in Norfolk
« Reply #2 on: Tuesday 30 June 20 09:05 BST (UK) »
Thanks so much. That makes sense.

Apparently the word lease has several shades of meaning, with different etymologies, but one meaning is related to "lea" in the context of providing pasture.

So if one leased or "lezured" the land, I guess that over time would sound like lizard, using the 'z' from the French term.

I'm glad I asked. Thank you :)