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Posted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 10:46 pm
by Bobinwales
I was asked a question in another place. There is a lake in Swansea called Pluck Lake, and the questioner wanted to know where the name came from. In the back of my mind I have a feeling that a stream of some sort was called a pluck, but I have not been able to confirm it. I don't think that it is Welsh, there is no 'k' in the Welsh alphabet. Could any of you help please?

Re: Pluck

Posted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 8:44 pm
by Bobinwales
There has been some movement, although not a lot.

Someone has dragged up from the back of memory that a pluck could be a stream running FROM a larger stream or river rather than to it. Still nothing in writing though!

Re: Pluck

Posted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 11:59 pm
by tony h
I have not come across pluck used in that way and would question whether the informant might not be confusing and gilding beck.

I did wonder whether the geological use of pluck side to mean lee side could indicate that the lake was on the lee side of a hill/ Swansea/woodland or whatever. Pure conjecture.

Re: Pluck

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 9:52 am
by Bobinwales
Not at all possible Tony.
I hadn't come across pluck as lee before, and that is obviously a possible derivation.
Thank you

Re: Pluck

Posted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 10:02 pm
by Phil White
Bobinwales wrote: Sun Apr 01, 2018 10:46 pmthere is no 'k' in the Welsh alphabet.
No, but there is a "c". My guess would be that the name has morphed from an older Welsh name, which may only loosely resemble "pluck". The obvious candidate would be "plwc", but it leaves you with the same problem of meaning and derivation.

Old maps, old books. Anything dating from a time when Welsh was spoken more widely in the area.

Re: Pluck

Posted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:38 pm
by tony h
The earlier map doesn't seem to show the lake the latter 1893 does. It also shows considerable industrialisation in the form factories and a railway. I wonder whether the lake was formed then. ... 1U00135000

I was feeling pretty good about that when I found : ... 00/page/14
Future developments include a hotel
and leisure park. Already, the Council
have made a lake called the "Pluck"
which has been stocked with fish and
there are seats for people to sit on.
There are also nature trails through
the trees.
Maybe it is just plucked from the slag heaps.
PS I have never seen a heap of slags.

Re: Pluck

Posted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:51 pm
by Phil White
Nice work, Tony.

Odd name to invent out of thin air.
tony h wrote: Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:38 pm PS I have never seen a heap of slags.
You are more than welcome to visit Merseyside on a Friday night if you wish to change that.

Re: Pluck

Posted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 3:26 pm
by Bobinwales
Thanks everyone. I did consider Plwc of course, but I can't find that word either.
The area was a dreadful mess until relatively recently. I will have a search around and see if I can show you some then and now pictures. I actually remember the area without a blade of grass because of sulphuric acid in the air.

Re: Pluck

Posted: Sun May 13, 2018 9:10 am
by Wizard of Oz
Bob it is difficult to research a small lake on the other side of the world. Although my wife did say we could do a trip to gain local knowledge. Here are some ideas you may wish to consider.

From a blog.
Pluck Lake: The map was so different that it was barely recognizable, but I did eventually manage to find my bearings due to the vast evidence of Slag’s and Coke ovens existing in the area, a tradition that still exists strongly to this day. After comparing planning maps from the Llansamlet and Lower Swansea Valley area from as far back as the 1840’s, I noticed that the Lake is on every map and its existence actually predates Swansea Council’s official planning. Despite this, the body of water that locals affectionately call ‘The Pluck’ has never officially had a name.

The general consensus is that it was a man-made lake, probably created in order to provide the surrounding factories and metalworks with a fast and efficient way of having access to large amounts of water. Due to the vague history surrounding the lakes name, I can only deduce that it gets its name from the sheer number of Stolen Cars that the local authority has had to literally ‘Pluck’ from its depths over the years. Other local stories claim that the lake is an old mine shaft that is so deep that it comes out underneath the River Tawe.

Pluck as a name.
a. The meaning is rather obscure, but is probably a variation from the Ancient French "peluche" of the pre 7th century, and as such be a nationalistic nickname meaning "stranger" in the same context as "Welsh or Walsh" which also had that meaning.
(Maybe the person naming the lake didn't want another Wales Lake and so look for a variation.)

b. Pluck is a name that was carried to England in the great wave of migration from Normandy following the Norman Conquest of 1066. It is a name for a maker of coarse woollen cloth and blankets.
Was the area ever known for its wool weaving?

Plucking is a term associated with glaciation. Go here to read about it. Bob I don't know if there is any geological indications for Lake Pluck.

Well there you Bob.

WoZ in Aus
Who loves a good old fashioned pluck

Re: Pluck

Posted: Sun May 13, 2018 7:07 pm
by Bobinwales
Well done WoZ. I actually remember the area without so much as a blade of grass because of industrial poisoning. It is very different now.

The Swansea Valley is a classic glaciated U-Shaped valley, so the theory you suggest may well be the answer.