Family History Notebook

Page last updated 12/08/21

Great Swindale and Little Swindale

These two parallel valleys in the Howgill fells run down into Weasdale which itself runs north into Lunedale, 1 km west of Newbiggin-on-Lune in Cumbria. There is no sign that they have ever supported habitation nor is it likely that they would have even been a shieling - Weasdale (NY690037) is probably as high as human habitation reached. Indeed it is difficult to see them ever even providing sustenance for swine or wild boar to lead to their name but this might have been the case in the warmer climate of the early middle ages. (In his dictionary of surnames Bardsley identifies Reynold and Cuthbert Swynebank in 1541 in Ravenstonedale near the foot of Weasdale).

From the top of Green Bell it should be possible to see five of the seven Swindales. Swindale near Skelton is definitely out of sight, as, ironically, is Little Swindale which is hidden by the ridge of Turn End. The others were hidden by the haze on the day I was there.

Great Swindale from near Green Bell looking towards Lune valley
(Little Swindale is over the ridge to the right)

Little Swindale from Weasdale

Swindale origins