I seem to be stuck on Cornish place-names at the moment. The picture shows Halzephron Cove, which is a couple of miles south of Porthleven, the subject of my previous post. The name is one of my favourites, but is an example of how careful you must be not to jump to conclusions about the meaning of place-names.
The name element hal means “moor/marsh” and is cognate with Irish salach which means “dirty”. It occurs in quite a few place-names, such as Halabezack (“midge-infested marsh”) and Halamanning (“butter marsh”).
One could be forgiven for thinking that Halzephron contains the element too, but one would be way off course. In 1488 the place-name was recorded as Alseyeffarn. The modern Cornish for this is als (“cliff”) + yfarn (“hell”), so the name means “Hell’s Cliff”.
Not far from St. Ives there is a place called Halse Town. Maybe that contains hal. Nope. The settlement was built by James Halse. How about Halvossow? Nope. In 1532 it was called Hafossowe. The name means “summer farms”