Both Skelsmergh and Scalthwaiterigg include Old Norse elements, and so are likely to have been names created by 9th or
10th century settlers of Viking origin who came to this area from Western Scotland, the Isle of Man or Ireland.
‘Scalthwaiterigg’ is first recorded in the 13th century. The name is composed of three Old Norse components:
skali (modern English scale, pasture with hut), þveit
(clearing or meadow) and hryggr (ridge). ‘Skelsmergh’ is first recorded in the 12th century.
It is composed of two elements: the Old Norse personal name Skjaldmar and ærgi
(modern English erg), a Gaelic-Norse element that indicates some kind of farmsite.
Sources for the history of the parishes
The history of Skelsmergh has been researched in far greater detail than that of Scalthwaiterigg,
as the above links show, and the hope is that someone will undertake the task for the latter. The references given in the
Victoria County History article for Skelsmergh are the obvious starting point, and a list of
resources at this link is provided as an adjunct to these.