Voyaging Vikings

Around the middle of the 800s the north and midlands of England, including South Yorkshire, fell under the control of the Vikings and Danelaw was established. These people were from Scandinavian tribes who had travelled from what is now Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

Though we don’t have much archaeological evidence in Page Hall and Grimesthorpe of the Vikings, local place names suggest Viking settlement in the area. For example Grimesthorpe means Grims outlying farm, so from this we can imagine that Grimesthorpe during this time was occupied by a farming community. The name of Roe Wood may possibly be made from the old Norse word ra meaning rowan tree.

Another example is Brightside which is near to Grimesthorpe and Page Hall. This was originally called Brekesherth and it is thought that means Bric’s hearth’ or ‘Brihtric’s earth’. These translations could be one of two things. If the name refers to Bric’s hearth’, the name may be related to iron smelting activities in this area.  If the name comes from ‘Brihtric’s earth’ this would mean Brightside used to be an early ‘township’.

In this period, the area around Sheffield was also known as Hallamshire, a name which is still used a lot today. The meaning of this name is a little uncertain, however it is thought that it came from the rocky nature of the land.