Small areas of land were cleared by farming families from forest and moorland.
These clearings were often enclosed with a hedge.
The legal name for this was “assarting” , but in the local dialect cleared land was
called a “royd”.
Royd placenames are concentrated along the Calder valley.
Combined with other words they tell us what kind of trees were cleared,
the type of ground on which the clearing was made, the names of the people
who cleared the land or the location of the clearing. Here are a few examples
AKROYD – Oaktree Clearing
BATEMANROYD – Clearing made by Bartholomew’s workmen
BOOTHROYD – Clearing with a shed
HANGINGROYD – Clearing on a steep slope
HOLROYD – Hollytree Clearing
KEBROYD – Old Sheep Clearing
MURGATROYD – Margarets Clearing
MYTHOLMROYD – Clearing where the rivers meet.
WESTROYD – West Clearing.
WHITLEYROYD – Bright Field Clearing
The number of royds cleared declined after the Black Death of 1348 devastated local communities.