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From Blow Bladder Street to Quaggy Walk - The strange and interesting history of London street names: a miscellany [Kindle Edition]

Simon Taylor
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: £2.04 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Book Description

This book is for anybody interested in the history of London.

The book is a browser’s miscellany of London street names, focusing on names that have interesting or surprising origins, unusual street names, and street names which tell an interesting story.

The book tries to explain why the streets in question acquired their names, and in doing so offers rich insights into the history of London.

Street names often provide the last remaining connection with otherwise forgotten events or people. Some of these names have been lost over the years; others survive, and can give important clues about how London has developed.

Amongst the street names discussed in the book are:

- Names that have been changed on grounds of taste or decency, such as Gropecunte Lane, Pissing Alley, Dirty Lane, Stinking Lane, Tripe Alley.

- Strange and quirky names, such as Pickled Egg Walk, Ha Ha Road, Crooked Usage, Bellestaines Pleasuance, and Quaggy Walk.

- Surviving names that reflect institutions or practices that have been lost, such as Coldbath Square, French Ordinary Court, Wine Office Court, Threadneedle Street and Yorkshire Grey.

- Names that indicate how an area used to be used, such as English Grounds and Lots Road.

- Names with interesting historical stories behind them: these include two streets named after a notorious Victorian swindler (Balfour Street), and a name that reflects one man’s thwarted ambitions to turn a part of north London into the world’s first hub airport (Aeroville)

- Marketing names designed to give a (sometimes) false impression of tranquility, or to change how an area is viewed, such as Vale of Health (changed from Hatchett’s Bottom)

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 781 KB
  • Print Length: 109 pages
  • Publisher: London Wall Books (19 Jan. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007010VSI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #166,121 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars should have bought it BEFORE I went to London 23 Nov. 2012
By Tak
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I always wonder about how streets have got their name but never get as far as looking into it further. This book is full of snippets of info - I can now impress on my next visit.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating facts 31 Jan. 2013
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Interesting book giving information and history of many of London's unusual street names. I purchased the Kindle edition which was good value compared to the hardback
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4.0 out of 5 stars Quirky 8 May 2013
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London is full of odd names some are perhaps more obvious, Houndsditch for instance, others less so. This takes you on a trip round London that perhaps the monopoly board doesn't. How Pettycoat lane offended our ancestors or how a harmless name can really leave you up s*** street. it's all here, All i can say is read it afore you head to London and then look up the place names and see them in a different light.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good fun 11 Mar. 2014
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As an ex-pat Londoner I like most books about London, and this did not disappoint. Far from a comprehensive list, (what about Bleeding Heart Yard, off Greville Street, where the scissor sharpener worked at the end of the 1960's) but an enjoyable browse
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4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting read 1 Mar. 2013
An interesting read, though not as extensive as I would have liked. Nevertheless, I'm glad I purchased it. I work in the City and enjoyed finding out the reasons why certain streets have the names they have.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good read but........ 5 Feb. 2014
Verified Purchase
Really interesting but much too short. Enjoyable and informative. Will make you stare upwards as you pass through london town to peruse strange and wonderful street names but this volume needs more bulk.
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5.0 out of 5 stars interesting and informative book 30 Nov. 2013
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Great value little read. Some very interesting insights into the origin of names of London's streets which in itself helps to explain the meaning of words still in common English usage e.g addle
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2.0 out of 5 stars wouldn't bother 20 April 2013
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I found this to be quite boring and full of pointless drivel. Normally I like books like this but this book did not get me really interested and I would not recommend it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Stories behind street names
Very interesting and easy read. Would recommend to anyone who has an interest in history etc. Was engrossed all through.
Published 7 months ago by Sandygirl
3.0 out of 5 stars Street names
Interesting but a bit short. I would have liked to see more names from outer areas. Perhaps a follow up is planned.
Published 7 months ago by Chuffer
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very interesting
Published 10 months ago by Christine M Lewis
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Such curiousities abound in London, hard to put down, even if you're not visiting.
Published 11 months ago by Biffo
3.0 out of 5 stars Not that good
No more than OK, a list of places written about in a quirky style and often a lot of guesswork
Published 13 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Fieldside
Fun and very easy to read but nonetheless full of fascinating and historical stuff. Also often amusing. It makes you look at other road names more carefully.
Published 14 months ago by hatty burrow
3.0 out of 5 stars interesting history of some London streets
Not just today's street names, but several old streets and lanes that have been renamed or even disappeared. Especially interesting if you vknow the City of London
Published 18 months ago by Jim__Leeder
5.0 out of 5 stars London history
Very entertaining and a good read. It's amazing what street names reveal about the past. A very enjoyable book - well worth getting.
Published on 27 Aug. 2013 by Geraldine O'farrell
2.0 out of 5 stars an okay read
this is more of a reference book, still quite interesting, but not enough meat to it. A good book to dip into though, as mentioned by the author himself
Published on 4 May 2013 by AngelinaA
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