Kirk Ireton

Kirk Ireton, Derbyshire

The first element of Kirk Ireton, in the Wirksworth Hundred of Derbyshire, is the genitive singular or plural of the Old Norse ethnonym Íri, ‘an Irishman; probably also a Norseman who had lived in Ireland’ combined with the Old English element tun ‘an enclosure; a farmstead; a village; an estate’. Old Norse kirkja ‘a church’ was affixed at a later date.

Traditionally, the place-name has been interpreted as referring to a settlement of Irishmen; probably Norsemen who lived in Ireland. 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.

Ascribed Culture


Viking Names


Derbyshire, ethnonym, hybrid name, Irish, kirk, Norse, place-name

Further information

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Image © Alex McGregor, via Geograph, CC BY-SA 2.0


Jayne Carroll, forthcoming.

Kenneth Cameron, The Place-Names of Derbyshire II. English Place-Name Society Volume XXVIII  (1959), p. 381.