Towns changing names

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timbucks
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Towns changing names

Post by timbucks » Fri Oct 13, 2017 17:15

I was looking at some 1920s maps on here and going around the local area seeing how much has changed and was surprised to see BERKHAMPSTED on one of them. Head into the 30s and 40s and it's BERKHAMSTED. Is this a copyright-trap or did the town actually change its spelling?
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Re: Towns changing names

Post by Fenlander » Fri Oct 13, 2017 17:39

My home town of Bourne gained the ‘e’ on the end fairly recently.

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Re: Towns changing names

Post by B1040 » Fri Oct 13, 2017 17:49

Letchworth has become Letchworth Garden City.
Whittlesey was formerly (and still is at the station) known as Whittlesea

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Re: Towns changing names

Post by KeithW » Fri Oct 13, 2017 17:51

timbucks wrote:I was looking at some 1920s maps on here and going around the local area seeing how much has changed and was surprised to see BERKHAMPSTED on one of them. Head into the 30s and 40s and it's BERKHAMSTED. Is this a copyright-trap or did the town actually change its spelling?
Well apparently the place name had multiple spellings and an attempt was made to settle on a single version in 1937.

The modern spelling on maps seems to be Berkhamsted as does the local council. Given the anglo saxon origins of the settlement (Beorhðanstædæ) its hardly surprising. Variations included "Berkstead", "Berkampsted", "Berkhampstead", "Muche Barkhamstede", "Berkhamsted Magna", "Great Berkhamsteed" and "Berkhamstead" the locals apparently just refer to the place as "Berko"

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Re: Towns changing names

Post by Steven » Fri Oct 13, 2017 17:56

It's actually more common than you might think - often there are alternative spellings used by various publishers. For example, the village of Womborne, Staffordshire has an alternative spelling of "Womborn"; which is also the name of the former railway station, supposedly so that it wasn't confused with the town of Wimborne.

Equally, if you look at historic OS mapping within Wales, you often see archaic "English" names for towns such as "Dolgelley" or "Llanelly". Sometimes you even see Newquay as "New Quay" and so on.
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Re: Towns changing names

Post by RichardA626 » Fri Oct 13, 2017 18:30

Buggsworth changed to Buxworth, though the canal basin never changed it's name.
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Re: Towns changing names

Post by rileyrob » Fri Oct 13, 2017 18:33

My home town of Burnham became Burnham-on-Sea after a vote by the town council in, I think, 1916. Weston added the -super-Mare at a similar time I think.
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Re: Towns changing names

Post by wrinkly » Fri Oct 13, 2017 18:48

Appleby renamed itself Appleby-in-Westmorland after it was put in Cumbria.

Come to that, Westmorland is Westmoreland in some old documents.

And of course a lot of Welsh places have dropped Anglicised spellings such as Ca(e)rnarvon, Portmadoc and Conway.

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Re: Towns changing names

Post by Owain » Fri Oct 13, 2017 18:50

Doire became Londonderry in 1613, when the London Guilds built the walled city there. It's only a matter of time before the city - almost universally referred to as Derry in Northern Ireland - becomes officially known as Derry.

The council officially became Derry City Council in 1984. The airport, formerly Londerry Eglinton, has been City of Derry Airport since at least 1994.

However, County Londonderry has only ever been County Londonderry, because the counties of Ireland were created by the English.
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Re: Towns changing names

Post by trickstat » Fri Oct 13, 2017 20:52

Another recent one is Staines (home of the fictional Ali G) switching to the rather more gentrified Staines-upon-Thames.

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Re: Towns changing names

Post by Ruperts Trooper » Fri Oct 13, 2017 22:03

Slepe, Huntingdonshire became St.Ives - but that was over a 1,000 years ago!
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Re: Towns changing names

Post by Chris Bertram » Fri Oct 13, 2017 22:21

Steven wrote:It's actually more common than you might think - often there are alternative spellings used by various publishers. For example, the village of Womborne, Staffordshire has an alternative spelling of "Womborn"; which is also the name of the former railway station, supposedly so that it wasn't confused with the town of Wimborne.

Equally, if you look at historic OS mapping within Wales, you often see archaic "English" names for towns such as "Dolgelley" or "Llanelly". Sometimes you even see Newquay as "New Quay" and so on.
OS mapping says Wombourne, with a U. And are you referring to New Quay in Cardiganshire, aka Cai Newydd in Ceredigion, or Newquay in Cornwall? I've been to both, and noted that they're both good places for surfers.
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Re: Towns changing names

Post by Chris Bertram » Fri Oct 13, 2017 22:31

The North Riding town of Guisborough, where I once lived and went to school, was historically Gisborough with no U. The addition of the superfluous vowel was allegedly a Victorian affectation. However, Gisborough Priory retained the old spelling , as did the Earl of Gisborough and his ancestral seat, Gisborough Hall.

In the lists of area codes in telephone directories, this meant that it was listed as Guisborough (Cleveland), to avoid confusion with Guilsborough in Northamptonshire. I have no knowledge of historic spellings of the latter.

A further consequence of the change in spelling is mispronunciation. The G is always hard, but the superfluous U means that some people want to say Guysborough, as in Guy Fawkes. It's Guis to rhyme with fizz, every time.
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Re: Towns changing names

Post by jedikiah » Fri Oct 13, 2017 22:48

trickstat wrote:Another recent one is Staines (home of the fictional Ali G) switching to the rather more gentrified Staines-upon-Thames.
Similarly the recent 'Abingdon-on-Thames'.

Belton was renamed Belton-in-Rutland in 1982 to distinguish the village from the other Belton in Leicestershire. Now it is back in Rutland (or maybe Rutland is back) it is a bit redundant.

Lots of places had variant spellings - Didcot for example was variously recorded as Dudcott, Dudcote, Dudecote, Doudecote and Dudecothe before the current spelling was fixed largely by the railway although Dudcote persisted into the 20th century.

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Re: Towns changing names

Post by Isleworth1961 » Fri Oct 13, 2017 23:33

rileyrob wrote:My home town of Burnham became Burnham-on-Sea after a vote by the town council in, I think, 1916. Weston added the -super-Mare at a similar time I think.
The earliest reference to 'super-Mare' appears to have been in about 1348.

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Re: Towns changing names

Post by Isleworth1961 » Fri Oct 13, 2017 23:41

trickstat wrote:Another recent one is Staines (home of the fictional Ali G) switching to the rather more gentrified Staines-upon-Thames.
Having been brought up not all that far from Staines, the 'upon-Thames' bit just sounds odd to me. I wonder how many people actually quote it as 'Staines-upon-Thames' in their address? (It's still in Middlesex to me, too... )

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Re: Towns changing names

Post by Viator » Fri Oct 13, 2017 23:52

Steven wrote:Sometimes you even see Newquay as "New Quay" and so on.
New Quay (Cei Newydd) is the official spelling of the town in Ceredigion. I don't know that that's ever been written as "Newquay", not in the last 125 years anyway.

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Re: Towns changing names

Post by Big Nick » Sat Oct 14, 2017 00:05

rileyrob wrote:My home town of Burnham became Burnham-on-Sea after a vote by the town council in, I think, 1916. Weston added the -super-Mare at a similar time I think.
Presumably to make clear they are not the Essex town of Burnham-on-Crouch. This nearly caught my Dad out when booking train tickets to visit my Gran in her nursing home. When he queried the very short journey time from Essex to Somerset the truth was realised!
trickstat wrote:Another recent one is Staines (home of the fictional Ali G) switching to the rather more gentrified Staines-upon-Thames.
Did you happen to watch Location, Location this week? :twisted: :lol:

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Re: Towns changing names

Post by Viator » Sat Oct 14, 2017 00:12

Owain wrote:Doire became Londonderry in 1613, when the London Guilds built the walled city there. It's only a matter of time before the city - almost universally referred to as Derry in Northern Ireland - becomes officially known as Derry.
The city is also known in Irish as Doire Colmcille (St Columba's Oak-grove), to distinguish it from the many other "derrys" (doirí) in Ireland (not to mention the deri = "oaks" also to be found in Welsh placenames).

Colmcille's own name, BTW, means "church dove".

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Re: Towns changing names

Post by owen b » Sat Oct 14, 2017 00:50

At some point Ffestiniog became Llan Ffestiniog. Barton on the Clay (near Luton) became Barton-le-Clay. Various places are now apparently "Royal". I'm surprised that Northampton and Southampton haven't been mentioned yet. This kind of thing seems to happen a lot and it generally seems to be for simplification, clarification, or snobbery.
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