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The Book of London Place Names Hardcover – 26 Apr 2012
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A fascinating guide to the stories behind London's place names
From the Back Cover
Ever wondered if Cheapside really is cheap, what you do in Threadneedle Street, or who the knights of Knightsbridge were?
Did you know that Piccadilly is actually an insult? And that Euston Road was built because there were too many cows on Oxford Street? Or that the River Fleet was covered over partly because of a drunken butcher?
Take a trip down narrow lanes, through cobbled streets and crowded markets to discover the meanings behind the city’s place names. Meet forgotten residents whose names survive in the places where they lived and uncover tales from London’s murky past that have shaped the modern city.
From famous landmarks to forgotten rivers, grand thoroughfares to lost palaces, and ancient villages swallowed up as the city grew, Caroline Taggart explains the hidden eanings behind familiar places. If you have ever wanted to peel back the layers of history and discover the people, events and stories that shaped London, then come on a journey that will show you our capital city in a new light...
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It is the sort of book to be found in the entrance of a bookshop or in a tourist location, an impulse buy, to be given as a gift, to be received as one, or to be read and re-gifted to someone else.
A place name can be an area such as Greenwich, or particularly in central London, a street name such as Jermyn Street. A place name's history can be obviously literal such as Catford, the ford across the river Ravensbourne where wild cats live, or obscure, such as Paddington from the farmstead of Padda, or Holborn, the stream in the hollow.
THE CONTENTS: The entries are concentrated in the older and more central parts of London but the outer areas are also covered. The chapters and their number of pages are: Introduction (20), The City (40), Westminster South (25), Westminster Central (38), Westminster North (35), Islington (7), Southwark, Lambeth, Wandsworth (22), Tower Hamlets, Hackney (15), Chelsea, Kensington (14), Hammersmith, Fulham (5), Greenwich, Lewisham (9), Outlying Boroughs North of the River (26), Outlying Boroughs South of the River (7).
THE BOOK has 263 pages of text with no illustrations or maps. In size it is a large pocket book suitable for a bag or the large pocket of a winter coat. A work of this size cannot be comprehensive and the entries vary from a full page to a few lines, presumably varying with what is known about a place name and how interesting the story is.
SOURCES used by the author include:
2010 Mills, A.D. A Dictionary of London Place-Names
1993 Weinreb, Ben and Hibbert, Christopher The London Encyclopaedia
1924 Stapleton, Alan London alleys, byways & courts
1891 Wheatly, H. B. London Past and Present
1796 Lysons, Daniel The Environs of London
1720 Strype, John A Survey of the Cities of London and Westminster
1607 Camden, William Britannia
1598 Stow, John A Survey of London: Written in the Year 1598
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