This is a copy of an article published in The Peak Advertiser, the Peak District's local free newspaper, on 8th March 1993, reproduced by kind permission of the author, the late Desmond Holden.

The “What's in a Name” series was a regular feature in the Advertiser over the period 1993‑2004, taking a refreshing look at the derivation of some typically Derbyshire surnames.

Articles are confined to the origins and meanings of surnames, and do not indicate any particular interest on Desmond's part in the genealogy, descent, or family history of individuals bearing the surnames featured.

Editor's Note: Articles are provided for general interest and background only. They are not intended to provide an exhaustive treatise for any individual family history - investigations of which may yield quite different results. Or, in Desmond's own words:

“In the end it must remain with individual bearers of the names to draw upon family traditions and to seek out such documentary evidence as is available to decide the matter for themselves.”

WHAT'S IN A NAME … Are you called LOCKWOOD?

Passengers travelling down from Huddersfield to Barnsley usually identify Lockwood Station as being the first stop out of Huddersfield. What they might not know is that it is the only place in the United Kingdom which is called "Lockwood". That is to say, the name is original and dates from the Earliest Times and that other places with the same designation come later in time and were given the name as a matter of choice.

As a surname, then, "Lockwood" can be nothing else but a habitation name and since there is only one place called "Lockwood" it is almost conclusive that persons bearing the name can reasonably claim direct descent from one family.

The name is made up from two units: "Lock-" and "-wood". The second unit speaks for itself, being exactly what it says - "a wood". The first unit, "Lock-" calls some further explanation. The root word is Anglo-Saxon "loc" and means "an enclosure, a barrier or a yard". Although very old books use the word "lock" to describe enclosures as they might be known in farming, already by the time of King Henry VIII (1509-1547) it was becoming more associated with the familiar barriers or restrictions on the flow of water on waterways. Of course it was also used to describe various forms of fastenings and as a term for prisons. A restrictive grip or hold used by wrestlers is called a "lock" as well.

So it may reasonably be taken that there was once a family living in "an enclosure in the middle of a wood" and that this particular wood was in the vicinity of Almondbury, on the south side of Huddersfield. The suggestion is re-inforced by the fact that there are the remains of an Early Iron Age Camp in the district and so there could certainly have been a well-established settlement to which the distinctive name "Lockwood" could have been given by the other people round about.

Emily Bronte knew what she was about when she tenanted "Wuthering Heights" with a Mr. Lockwood. Even in her day it was recognised as a very old West Riding name of which the earliest record dates from 1294. Sir Frank Lockwood (1846-1897) was a distinguished lawyer who came from a family with distinguished associations in Doncaster. Although the name is not unfamiliar or unusual it is not particularly widespread and the local directories can muster less than 100 entries.

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From "The Peak Advertiser", 8th March 1993.

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