Monday, 22 February 2010

Why do place names change?

Was just mooching through a lovely old 1836 map of Thanet from the brilliant website Old Ramsgate The Great War that I picked up via the equally nice blog Promote Thanet. I walk my dog most days out at Botany Bay and the name has always struck me as odd. Looking at the map it says it's called Barleymow Bay (that's me squinting and can't really read it that well). It's a lovely name. The Bay then goes round the corner to White Ness and then on to Kingsgate. Which reminded me of the small changes that have come in even over the last few years: The Parade is referred to in the media now as The Piazza and The Stone Pier as the Harbour Arm. Rebranding of place names without good reason sits oddly I think. What's the purpose? It's not as if there has been a disaster, some awful event which makes a name change necessary. Personally, names shouldn't be changed without good reason.

6 comments:

  1. I suspect most names change just to try to make them more appealing. Minnis Bay sounds like a nice holiday destination, but the former name Gore End certainly doesn't!

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  2. The same applies to Pubs, once upon a time Margate would have Pubs called the British Tar,Foy Boat Inn, Hope & Anchor, Jolly Sailor Inn, Lord Nelson, Royal Oak, Crown & Anchor, Ship Inn which were all names related to our maritime heritage. The only one that remains is the Northern Belle which was formerly the Waterman's Arms renamed in 1857 after the wrecking of the Northern Belle.

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  3. But names have significance, Peter. Personally don't mind the name Gore End. Sounds an interesting and wild place with a story.

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  4. I agree with you, but I can still understand why they changed it.

    More strange to me is the Dent-De-Lion area near Garlinge, changed from the earlier Dandelion.

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  5. I can see why things change but it wont stop us wanting to hark back to a former time when the summers were longer and the days less stressful.

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  6. Outside my house was called Belvidere Place a small lane with carriage turning circle was all that existed.

    someone made a road and its Belvedere Road now

    significance: Bel beautiful.... videre.. the latin, to see I think.. why couldn't it have stayed the correct spelling? I get so fed up with people telling me my house name is spelt incorrectly!!!! Even when you can see it was set into stone prob circq 1810

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