Yealand was recorded in the Domesday Book as ‘Jalant’ (presumably with the ‘J’ said as a ‘Y’) and as ‘Yaland’ in 1206, but ‘Hielande’ in 1202.
The places that are now Yealand Redmayne, Yealand Conyers, Yealand Storrs and Leighton were all part of the original estate. In 1066 this was held by King Harold’s brother, Tostig, as part of his lordship of Beetham. ‘Yealand Coygners’ was first recorded in 1301 and ‘Yealand Redman’ in 1341 – both named after the estate owners.
There are two possible meanings depending on whether the name means ‘high land’ from the Old English (Anglo-Saxon) ‘Hēaland’ or ‘land by the stream’ from the Old English ‘Ēaland’. In his 1922 book on the Placenames of Lancashire, Ekwall preferred the ‘high land’ option.
So, how did we end up with four places from one estate?
The first split occurred in the late 1100s when the estate was partitioned into what became Yealand Redmayne and Yealand Conyers. ‘Redmayne’ or ‘Redman’ was adopted as a surname by the owner of the Yealand Redmayne estate around the 1180s and an heiress of the other part married a Robert de Conyers and they inherited that estate around 1235-45. Around 1350 Yealand Redmayne was then divided again by two co-heiresses into Yealand Redmayne and Yealand Storrs. Yealand Conyers at some point split again and the Leighton Hall estate became separate.
Recent research indicates that Yealand was on the Roman road north from Lancaster to Kendal (Watercrook) – either via Leighton or Yealands Conyers and Redmayne. The two possible routes re-join at Yealand Storrs to go on via Beetham.