Welcome to Anglezarke.net, where I hope to present the most comprehensive resource, online or off, of this fantastic part of the West Pennine Moors. A place of ruined farmsteads, babbling brooks, twenty-thousand year-old settlements, abundant wildlife and outstanding scenery…
Anglezarke, Anlezark, Anglezark… The name Anglezarke is derived from two Norse-Gaelic elements. In the first part comes from the name Anlaf, a form of the popular Scandinavian personal name of Olav. In the second part comes from the Old Norse word erg or the Brythonic word cognate with Gaelic word àiridh (dialectal arke or argh) both meaning a ‘hill pasture or shieling’. The two elements together mean ‘Anlaf’s hill pasture’ – i.e. ‘the hill pasture belonging to Anlaf’. The earliest spelling of the name was in 1202 when it was recorded as ‘Andelevesarewe’. By 1225 this had become ‘Anlavesargh’, in 1351 ‘Anlasargh’, and by 1559 ‘Anlazarghe’. Our maps, starting in the 1700’s, first reference ‘Anglezark’ and it is only in the 1900’s that we first see the modern spelling, ‘Anglezarke’. In 1894, there were plans to join Anglezarke to Heapey, but ratepayers protested sufficiently.
There is an alternative history to the name. According to a book I discovered in the British Library, Anglezargh may mean Heathen Temple. The first portion indeed includes the name of a Norse deity, although people did name themselves after deities. Anlaf’s Argh = The Temple Of Anlaf The Heathen.