What’s so funny about Ha Ha Road?
What is so funny about Ha Ha Road, and whose heart bled in Bleeding Heart Yard? Why did Broken Wharf break? Who was unfortunate enough to head off down Wild Goose Drive?
Precious London runs from Agate Road to Diamond Street and Opal Street while culinary London leads from Artichoke Hill to Bunhouse Place and Shoulder of Mutton Alley. Creatures walk, swim, and fly from Antelope Road to Fish Street Hill and Woodpecker road, while plants flourish from Acacia Grove to Gorse Walk and Yew Avenue.
But beware: all is not what it seems: you wouldn’t make wine from the grapes of Grape Street, put the stew of Stew Lane on a menu, or finish off with the pudding from Pudding Lane.
Nothing is what it seems: London streets and their names provide an endless source of entertainment and information mixed in with political intrigue, bloody murder and celebrity scandals.
Come in and sample the wonders of the city’s A-Z: the theories, legends, and the history behind the streets, their names, and their residents.
21 responses to “The author”
I love the etymology of street names, and was interested in your blog.
I was rather struck by the “renaming” of Tooley Street, particularly its timing. I’ve always found it very interesting, the close proximity of Tooley Street to the Globe Theatre. The original Globe was built on Maiden Lane (now Park Street) a few hundred yards Westwards…towards Tooley Street.
Nicholas Tooley was an actor, and executor of Richard Burbage’s will at just about the time of the renaming of the street. Burbage rebuilt and had half-shares in the Globe.
Tooley was his stage name…his birth name was Wilkinson. I find the synchronicity of his name, given the theatre was yards away from the road, striking. Was Tooley street renamed for the actor…or did the actor take his stage name from the street? Interesting coincidence, either way.
I just discovered your great streetnames blog and have enjoyed exploring it today.
I am researching street names of Westminster in the 1600s-1800s, and I wonder if you can suggest a current-day historian who might help me with a few questions I have.
Thanks in advance.
Elizabeth, are you familiar with the book “A Wanderer in London,” by E.V. Lucas (1913)? Starting on page 247 he devotes a few pages to explaining the origin of the names of numerous London streets and neighborhoods. You’d like it.
Regarding Pinchin Street – It is my name and I was told by family members that Pinchin Street in Whitechapel was named after a great great grandfather who was a doctor who invented a type of penicillin so they named the street after him.
I was also told that we emigrated from France to England at some point so your comment about the name origin is correct.
My grandfather then immigrated to Manitoba Canada in the early 1930s or 1940s.
I stumbled over Your very interesting blog while searching about any connections between mermaids and prostitutes. You write that in the 16th century this had been a common naming. Not being a native speaker, could You tell me where to look for some more ethymological evidence? That would be very kind. Thanx,
About Me (and my Obsession)
My obsession with London street names began in the early 90s when I worked in the Smithfield area and happened upon Bleeding Heart Yard. In my wanderings around London, kept adding to my store of weird and wonderful street names. Eventually it was time to share – hence my blog. I hope you enjoy these names as much as I do.
- Poultry and Hen and Chickens Court – names for National Poultry Day
- Greenberry Street and Red Lion Square: street names for St Patrick’s Day and Red Nose Day
- Bleeding Heart Yard: revisiting (and debunking) old favourites
- Colours and music in London street names
- Pardons (or not) and justice in street names
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