Foremark, Derbyshire

Foremark, in the Repton and Gresley Hundred of Derbyshire, is a Scandinavian compound formed from the Old Norse elements forn ‘old’ and verk ‘work’. Thus, ‘old fortification’. The element verk undoubtedly was used in the Danelaw to describe a military or defensive structure; however, the element does not appear to be found in Scandinavian place-names.

The place-name corresponds to the Old English place-name type Aldwark ‘old fortification’. One Aldwark is located in the Wirksworth Hundred of Derbyshire, and is situated near The Street, a Roman road, and Portway. Similarly a short distance east of Wall Hill and Foremark are raised earth formations, which perhaps could be the site of the original fortification. Furthermore, Foremark is very close to a known Great Heathen Army winter camp at Repton. Recent work by Dr Catrine Jarman has raised the possibility that Foremark is somehow related to that site, as outlined in a 2019 television programme, Britain’s Viking Graveyard.

Ascribed Culture


Viking Names


Derbyshire, place-name, Repton, Viking, Winter_camp

Further information

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© P L Chadwick, via GeographCC BY-SA 2.0


Kenneth Cameron, The Place-Names of Derbyshire II. English Place-Name Society Volume XXVIII (1950-51), p. 339.

Kenneth Cameron, The Place-Names of Derbyshire III. English Place-Name Society Volume XXIX (1959), pp. 634-5.