You are here:- Home > Local History Menu > Kettle Bottom

Kettle Bottom

Kettle Bottom

In the northern part of Hope Mansell, the area in the hollow between Hopes Ash Farm and Dancing Green appears on maps as Palmers Flat, but everyone calls it Kettle Bottom. While talking to people during the making of my film, A Parcel of Time, the question of the name Kettle Bottom came up several times. I heard various theories – that it was a place where kettles were used to draw water from the brook or a pond, or (as John Margrett suggested) that it was an old Saxon word for a kind of corral. So I’ve done a little investigation.

The Old English cetel describes a round vessel, often with a flat bottom – a cauldron (hence kettle-drum). So the word came to describe a narrow valley, often round with a flat bottom. Frequently (and probably like our own Kettle Bottom) the shape is the legacy of terra-forming by glaciers. Other examples include Kettlewell in Yorkshire, whose name means 'a stream in a narrow valley'.

As to the corral: there’s recently been talk of kettling as a kind of corralling in the way police 'kettle' demonstrators to contain them, as liquid is contained in a cauldron; but I can find no reference to kettling in the sense of enclosing livestock. Perhaps readers can correct me here?

Ian Lewis

All articles and images are © Weston News or the originator