Dolphinholme is not recorded as a name until 1591 when the Duchy of Lancaster records show a ‘Dolphineholme’, meaning ‘Dolfin’s island or promontory’.
Holme comes from an old Norse word roughly meaning ‘island’. Rather than an island surrounded by a sea or lake it usually means a raised area of land in wet, boggy or marshy ground – Torrisholme would originally have been a good example.
However, like Arkholme in the Lune Valley, Dolphinholme is on steeply rising land coming away from a river valley – in this case the River Wyre. They both therefore are likely to come from the rarer meaning of ‘holme’ as a promontory.
Dolfin is almost certainly a Scandinavian name, however Scandinavian names were still commonly used in this area until well into the Middle Ages so all we can tell is that the name dates after 900.
Although seemingly a small rural village before the mill came, Dolphinholme’s position as a crossing on the River Wyre is significant. There is a medieval defensive motte and three Roman coins that would have been used when the Romans first came to this area were found here.
The photo shows Corless Mill at Dolphinholme.