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The nearest Crawberry Hill to Bishop Burton is a small, megalithic (circa 2000BC) stone circle in Northumberland.

Bishop Burton’s Hill and associated Dale is, and always has been, Crowberry; one could only assume that Rathlin energy had made a mistake in naming their oil-drilling site Crawberry Hill. However, Ordance Survey maps do show surprisingly, Crawberry Hill and Crawberry Dale – letting Rathlin ‘off the hook’.

The first written evidence of Crowberry that I can find is in the journal of the House of Lords for Friday, 23 January 1767, Robert Lord of the manor of Bishop Burton, is petitioning the Lords for permission to introduce a Bill of enclosure of Open Lands, including Crowberry Dale field. For a full and fascinating account put ‘Crowberry Dale’ into Google. Subsequently, the actual Enclosure Award and Maps (1772) both give Crowberry.

The first Ordnance Survey that includes field names (6inch/1mile, surveyed 1851-2 by Captain Bayley, Royal Engineers, with instructions to consult locally re names) was published in 1855; it shows, correctly, Crowberry Hill, Crowberry Field and Crowberry Dale in bold capitals.

The revision of this map in 1892 again shows Crowberry but in the 1910, 1928 and subsequent revisions all show Crawberry! A mis-spelling by the Ordnance Survey printers? Ordnance Survey’s reply, to the suggestion of a ‘printer’s error’ was “we would like to presume that there was a change in actual usage which our mapping reflected, but given this occurred over a century ago we have no simple way of confirming whether it was this or an error on someone’s part”.

The mis-spelling, or error, has had unfortunate consequences. for example, the comprehensive 'Victorian History of the Counties of England' tackled Bishop Burton in 1977; the publication (Vol.4 of the East Yorkshire Series 1979) includes the 1772 Pre-Enclosure Map showing Crowberry Dale Field but, in the text refers to 'Crawberry, formerly Crowberry'.

Bishop Burton surely wants the correct name, Crowberry, re-instated on all future maps. The Ordnance Survey can only do this if the E.R.Y.C. so instruct them, but the E.R.Y.C. seem reluctant to do this, suggesting that maps might show 'Crawberry, formerly Crowberry' - a suggestion rejected by Ordnance Survey because 'to include both names would be outside of our specification', and, in any case, is incorrect.

Over to the Parish Council for them to agree that Crowberry must be re-instated on all future maps, to put pressure on the E.R.Y.C. to agree and for the latter to request Ordnance Survey to use the name of Crowberry in the future (perhaps with a footnote 'Crowberry, sometimes known, erroneously, as Crawberry').

Footnote: It is probably that the name comes from the crowberry shrub (Empetrum nigrum), a native of acid soils. In general the Wold soils are no longer acid but they were at the time of Enclosure - the reason for the large number of marl pits in fields (e.g. eleven in Monckton Walk's seven fields). However, Crowberry Hill would never have had chalk spread on it; bracken now grows on the top.

Andrew Dunning - Monckton Walk Farm