What's in a Road Name?

Have you ever wondered how your roads get their names? Some are fairly obvious like 'Station Road...

Have you ever wondered how your roads get their names? Some are fairly obvious like ‘Station Road’ or ‘Market Street’. Others may give a reference to a former landmark on the site such as ‘Foundry Lane’. Other obvious names give warning of where you will end up such as ‘Bagshot Road’ or ‘Bracknell Lane’ but of course that all depends on which end you start from. How about ‘Nine Mile ride’? Is it nine miles long?

The roads in and around Heathrow Airport are named after the points of the compass. Roads on the northern edge begin with an ‘N’, those on the eastern edge start with an ‘E’ and so on. The roads in the central area all begin with a ‘C’. This helps those not familiar to an area to know where to start looking for a particular road, however with the invention of Satnav these systems are pretty much redundant.

The things that I find interesting though are the choices made for new estates. Great Hollands and Hanworth are named alphabetically in a clockwise direction but they decided not to use the letters X and Z. Does anybody know what the town planners of Bracknell had against those letters? I think it would be nice to live in a road named Xanadu or Zephyr.

Crown Wood has towns in the Midlands and Jennetts Park is birds. Birds are also a theme in Wokingham along with trees, precious stones and counties of England.

Some residents of Winnersh have the dubious honour of having their roads named after breeds of cattle!

It feels like every town has something named after the Lake District but that begs the question of what the estates in the Lake District are named after.

Then of course we have the downright rude and inappropriate names. You only have to type ‘rude road names’ into your search engine to realise that some town planners either have a weird sense of humour or no sense at all.

Does the name add value? Not really, from an investment point of view it will always be the location and condition, however, some homeowners might attach some kudos to a nice sounding house or road name. I know there has been a long running campaign by some residents in Windsor to get their own postcode prefix and lose the SL from Slough but again, if they succeeded it wouldn’t enhance the value of the properties of Windsor.

Coming back to ‘Nine Mile Ride’, it is actually 6.7 miles long. I suspect this has been a victim of urbanisation rather than the exaggeration of those that named it and renaming it Six Point Seven Mile Ride now just wouldn’t have the same ring to it and would be a very long sign.

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