PLACE NAMES AND FIELD NAMES OF NORTHUMBERLAND, by Stan Beckensall. Published by Fonthill Media Ltd, Oxford. £18.99. Softback.

THE text, by a local author with decades of experience writing about the county, includes the richness of humour and local detail that go into naming fields. Stan Beckensall explores what place names and field names mean, and how they can reveal an intimate part of our local history by linking us to the land they sign and socialise.

Northumberland has a rich legacy of such names, which can best be appreciated by close familiarity with the landscape. If you are intrigued by the derivation of names as colourful as Grimping Haugh, Jill’s Arse, Little Sloshes, Boggle Hole, Shovelbread and Blowbutts, you will enjoy the book.

The text explores a series of sites which demonstrate how place names are derived and change over time. This study is well supported by a wide range of illustrations including photographs, documents and maps. The detailed research undertaken by the author helps to ensure that this is a comprehensive guide to the origins of places within the county.