Strangely Named UK Places.
First published: Sunday August 15th, 2021
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Inspiration originates from many sources and this blog is no different. Inspired by Beckette's Blog, here are some of the stranger placenames in the United Kingdom. Hopefully informative, I will endeavour to provide a little insight into each place and why it became known by that name. So without further ado, lets get onto the first place......
Dull is a small village consisting of a single street of houses close to the River Tay in the Scottish Highlands.
Its name is thought to derive from the Pictish word "dol" meaning a water meadow.
The local church is built on the site of a monastry that dated back to the 7th century, and several stone crosses from that era have been found.
In 2012 the village's population was 84 down from a high in 1951 of 2,055.
Although small the village is twinned with Boring, Oregon, USA and more recently with Bland, NSW, Australia. Together forming a "League of Extraordinary Communities" sometimes known as the "Trinity of Tedium"
Wetwang is a village situated in the Yorkshire Wolds, an area of low hills in the East Riding of Yorkshire. It has a current population of around 750 persons.
It's name is thought to derive from one of two origins. From the old Norse language "vaett-vangr" meaning "field for trial of legal action" or alternatively from being compared as the Wet Field in relation to the Dry Field nearby. (Driffield is the closest town).
Puddletown is a village in the south western county of Dorset.
Originally known as Piddletown, it's name was changed due to it's similarity to a word for urination. It was known as Puddletown as early as the 16th century however it was only officially changed in the 1950s. The name derives from the nearby River Piddle and in Old English ("pideletun"), meaning "Farmstead on the river". Nearby settlements such as Piddletrenthide and Piddlehinton have retained their origin names, whereas Tolpuddle and Affpuddle changed.
Nearby burial sites date back to Prehistoric times and Roman artifacts have been found locally.
Sandwich is a market town in the southern county of Kent. Dating back to the 7th centuryit was once a major port and trading centre, although due to environmental changes is now at least 2 miles from the coast.
The town's name derives from Anglo-Saxon and means "market town on sandy soil".
The common food item (sandwich) originated here, being invented by John Montague, the 4th Earl of Sandwich.
Sandwich is twinned with Sandwich, Massachusetts, USA along with other none Sandwich named places.
Nearby is a village called Ham. There is a well known signpost nearby pointing to Ham, Sandwich !
Cowes is the main port on the Isle of Wight off the south coast of England.
It's name is thought to be due to a nearby sandbank looking like a cow.
Cowes has been an important port for many years. Ships carrying emigrants from Europe to the New World called into Cowes, thereby allowing it's passengers to be renationalised as British prior to landing in the Colonies at Philadelphia.
There is an annual regatta that recieves royal patronage and many yachts are based there.
Despite it's name, Dufftown has nothing to do with the fictional beverage in the Simpsons, although the town does make more malt whisky than anywhere else, and is signposted on the entry to the village as the "Whisky Capital of the World".
The town was established in the 19th century in Moray, Scotland by James Duff, the 4th Earl of Fife, as a home for soldiers returning from the Napoleonic Wars.
In the 3rd Harry Potter film (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban), Hogwarts is mentioned as being near to Dufftown.
The president of Rockstar Games (Grand Theft Auto etc), Leslie Benzies, grew up in Dufftown.
Lizard village is the UK mainland's most southerly settlement. It is situated on the Lizard Peninsula in Cornwall (Or Kernow to Cornish speakers). The UK's most southerly point is Lizard Point.
The name comes from the Cornish language. Lis meaning place and Ard meaning high, so "high place" is the literal meaning of Lizard.
In 1588 the invading Spanish Armada was first spotted from the coast near to Lizard village.
Also in Cornwall is the small fishing village of Mousehole. Pronounced Mauzel, the name's origin is unknown, but theories are that it came from the Cornish "Moeshayle" meaning "young woman's brook" or that it was simply named after a nearby cave that resembles a mouse hole.
Dating back to the 13th century Mousehole was an important fishing community, much larger than nearby Penzance.
Most of the original village was raized to the ground by invading Spanish troops in 1595, the only surviving building being the Keigwin Arms pub.
Every year on 23rd December the festival of Tom Bawcocks Eve is celebrated. Tom bawcock was a fisherman that put to see in strong gales to provide fish for the villagers that were starving due to famine in the 16th century. The festival is the origin of "Star Gazey Pie" a pie dish of mixed fish, eggs and potato with fish heads poking from the crust.
Ugley is a small village in the county of Essex to the north east of London.
The village was first recorded in 1041 as "Uggele". It appears in the Domesday Book as "Ugghelea". The name possibly derives from Anglo Saxon and means "woodland clearing of a man named Ugga"
Several huts in the village are owned by cycling clubs due to an annual cycling time trial race that starts near to the Village.
The local womens group used to be called the "Ugley Womens Institute" but has been changed to the "Womens Institute of Ugley" for some reason.
Thanks for reading and thanks to Beckette for the inspiration.
1. llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, Wales
2. Droop, Dorset
3. World's End, Berkshire
4. Old Sodbury, Gloucestershire
- Three Cocks
(These are real place names, so please don't report me)
Also it isn't pronounced how it looks. Pen - similar to something you write with