By indexer
203 days ago

Street names

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Street names can be fascinating. I grew up in Tatnam Road (Poole), and lived at various times in Gravits Lane (Bognor Regis) and Windwhistle Way (Alderbury, near Salisbury). However, although it might seem that I am fated to live in streets with strange names, I ruined it all by spending the past 30 years in New Street (Barlestone, Leics) which is about as un-strange a name as could be imagined!

There are certainly some very odd addresses that one can have. I don’t think I would like to live in Barbers Piles (Poole) or Slaughterhouse Lane (Milford Haven). On the other hand, London’s Shoot-Up Hill sounds OK, and there’s Sheffield’s Letsbe Avenue which sounds like a good address for a police station!

One very odd street name is “Of Alley”, which is close to London’s Charing Cross Station at the west end of the Strand. To be accurate, what you can see is a small nameplate on a wall that reads “York Place formerly Of Alley”. The name is a mystery until you know the full story.

The streets in this area were developed in the 1670s by the second Duke of Buckingham, whose father had acquired York House and its estate in 1624. The second duke named the streets after his full name and title: George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham. Villiers Street and Buckingham Street are still there (the photo is of Buckingham Street). George Street is now York Buildings and Duke Street is now John Adam Street (part of). That leaves “of” from the name. It’s a short word so it only deserves a short alley, which is what it got.

I once had a friend who collected strange street names and had a whole book of them. There are certainly a lot of them about – and I suspect that it is not just the United Kingdom where they can be found.

Just for good measure, I came across the perfect address for me in Alabama – John Welford Road, a dirt track near the border with Mississippi!
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RasmaSandra I'll join you in Alabama. I have always wanted to see the Mississippi. Perhaps we can set up a steamship cruise line for tourists. Anyway, I am also fascinated by strange street names. My cousin back in Latvia lives in a very rural area. She never had an address until some intelligent official decided all places in the country no matter how remote should have an address. It turned out that her property was close to a cemetery and she wound up living on Cemetery Street.
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indexer @RasmaSandra Thanks for your comment. Yes - that is a depressing address that is along the lines of Slaughterhouse Lane!
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