The spelling of Bowerham is very probably a bit of Victorian up-grading. The 1844 Ordnance Survey map shows a farm called Bowrams which is likely to be the original location of the village.
Bowerham is first recorded in the early 1200s when it was Bolerund (1201), Bolron (1212) and Bolrum (1226). It was still ‘Bolron’ through to the early 1600s and Lancaster’s first recorded mayor was ‘Robert de Bolron’ in 1338.
The first part of the name is most likely to be ‘bull’ – or ‘bule’ as it was in the 1200s. The ‘run’ part almost certainly comes from the old Norse ‘runnr’ for thicket.
So Bowerham means something along the lines of ‘the thicket with the bull’. A bull was a precious farming asset and this was perhaps the place where ‘the bull’ lived over several generations. Unfortunately at this distance of time it can only be speculation.
The picture shows Bowerham Barracks which was built around 1875 on the site of Bowrams farm.