The sky over RNAS Culdrose on the Annual Air Day
Public domain image. Credit: Vernon39
Having now taken delivery of a copy of Oliver Padel’s Cornish Place-Name Elements (English Place-Name Society, 1985), I thought I would do an update on this puzzling name.
First, Padel is convinced that the second element is ros with the meaning “rough land”. However, he does not commit himself to a decision on the first element, saying it could either be cul “narrow” or kyl “nook”. In the entry for cul he says that some instances of Kilquite and Colquite (the second element means “wood”) could derive from cul, but makes no comment on the unusual adj + noun order if this is the case. The only name he lists which he reckons definitely contains the element is Porthcuel (“narrow harbour”) where the order is the usual noun + adj.
Secondly, for Culdrose he makes no comment on the magic <d>, or none that I have been able to find yet. However, my friend JDL has pointed out to me that there are quite a few names beginning Tres- that Padel reckons derive ultimately from ros. So where did the <t> come from in these words? Trescoll, Treskilling, Tresmaine and Tresmeer are a few examples. The puzzlement abides.