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Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Place names

On my recent holiday to Cornwall I was intrigued by some of the place names.  Not far from where I was staying there was the delightfully named Indian Queens.  The most likely reason for that place name was a pub of the same name but of course there are other stories with a bit more romance about them.

I passed by Playing Place.  Doesn't that sound a fun place to visit?  My imagination ran riot imagining endless hopscotch or merry-go-rounds!  It wasn't far from the King Harry Ferry.  I wonder if His Majesty was ever the ferryman

Who would have expected to find a Camel Trail in Cornwall but there it was!  It was originally the site of two railway lines but now it's a trail for walkers and cyclists to follow near to the River Camel.  It would be lovely to imagine it as a silk route, with ships of the desert carrying exotic wares deep in the Cornish countryside.

Don't for a moment think that Cornwall has the only odd place names though.  My last parish included the less-than-delightfully-named Spital in the Street.

And it wasn't far from New York!


  1. We have a lot of Native American names that then were translated to English at some point so sound odd in the literal translation.

  2. The next village to where I live is Minions (a former mining village) which until very recently had an interesting & amusing road sign complete with the famous yellow Minions on it. People came from miles away to stand in front of the sign and have their photos taken, my own grandchildren among them!. But now the Council, in its wisdom, have had it removed because 'it might have caused an accident'. Honestly!
    A few miles away is a village called 'No-Man's-Land' (what fun to answer that when someone asks where you are from.); Chip Shop - not named after a local eatery, but because the Big House there used to belong to the Mine Manager who paid the miners in chips of wood; the miners then spent their wages in the local shop (also owned by the Mine Manager), paying in those wood chips . . . hence Chip Shop.

  3. Indian queens is thought to have a history relating to Pocahontas, the real Indian queen.
    Playing Place, where we live (as you know!) is said to have had an annual visit from mummers or players who acted in the village. Somewhere in the village is the land on which their plays were held. Apparently!

  4. I hadn't thought about it being mummers who went to your village (I thought you might comment!) but I'd still like to think of merry-go-rounds as well!

  5. Oh my... Some of these names really make you smile don't they. Near to us we have Pratts Bottom - and it's a really pricey place to buy a property in.

  6. The oddest one I can think of is London Apprentice....