Thursday, August 11, 2011

Charming English Street Names

One of the charms of England is its adherence to tradition, particularly in place names. One has to search hard to find a street name there that is a number. Come to think of it, I don't remember any. Here are just a few that by their very names tell you that you are not in Kansas anymore. Honestly, one might expect Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore and Christopher Robin to come skipping by at any moment. Photos taken in Strood and Rochester, Kent.

A "close" is an area, e.g. a field, enclosed by a hedge.

I vote for the former name.

Unfortunately, I didn't see the object that inspired the name.

A "row" is a narrow street, lined with identical houses. In the U.S. the only one I know is "Skid" Row. That American term originated in the Northwest lumber towns when skids, or logs were used to move or slide ("skid") the large timbers down the street. Later, of course, it meant any area where those who were down on their luck lived.

By the way, a "mews" is a 19th century term that describes a cobbled street with rows of stables and carriage houses facing one another. Alas, such is no longer the case on these streets.

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