Irby upon Humber

Irby upon Humber, Lincolnshire

Irby upon Humber, in the Bradley Wapentake of Lincolnshire, comes from Old Norse Íra,the genitive plural form of Íri ‘an Irishman; probably also a Norseman who had lived in Ireland’ and Old Norse by ‘a farmstead, a village’.

The reference is probably to an isolated settlement of Norwegian vikings from Ireland, or perhaps Irishmen who came with the vikings to England. However, the exact implications of such a name are not yet fully understood and are the subject of ongoing work by Dr Jayne Carroll of the Institute for Name-Studies, University of Nottingham.

Irby upon Humber is to distinguish the place from Irby in the Marsh, also in Lincolnshire.

Ascribed Culture


Viking Names


ethnonym, Irish, Lincolnshire, Norwegians, place-name

Further information

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Image © JThomas, via Geograph, CC BY-SA 2.0


Jayne Carroll, forthcoming.

Kenneth Cameron, A Dictionary of Lincolnshire Place-Names. Nottingham: English Place-Name Society (1998), p. 70.

Kenneth Cameron with John Field and John Insley, The Place-Names of Lincolnshire V, English Place-Name Society Volume LXXIII (1997), pp. 124-125.