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place name

10
Dec
2012
1

Festive place names across Great Britain

With just two weeks to go until Christmas, we started thinking (again!) about the best Christmas place names around Great Britain. Have a look at our pick of the crop and let us know if you can think of others to add to the list…

From Cold Christmas (Hertfordshire) and Christmas Cross (Shropshire) to Holly Green (Worcestershire) and Ivy Tree (Cumbria), there are places scattered across the country where it feels like Christmas all year round – even if only in name.

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6
Dec
2012
0

Collecting place names with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency

Today’s guest blog is by Jo Rawlings, Maritime and Coastguard Agency, explaining how a vernacular geography project called FINTAN is helping to pinpoint locations for emergency responses.

When receiving an emergency or distress call, understanding the position of the person in difficulty is vital in delivering a swift response. 

HM Coastguard is working in partnership with the Ordnance Survey on a dataset that will help with this process. 

Expanding the depth of the dataset 

Developed by Ordnance Survey with a pilot run within the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), the vernacular project (FINTAN) is a software data collection and management web application covering Great Britain. The dataset initially included within FINTAN will locate any place name already shown on an Ordnance Survey map. However, to deal with the fact many locations are known by alternative local names, work is underway to identify and verify these, and then add them to the FINTAN database. 

When a person calls 999 and asks for the Coastguard, they may not be certain of their exact location or the position where they can see someone in trouble.

However they may know the area by its nickname, such as Cow Beach, otherwise known as Prisk Cove in south Cornwall. 

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13
Feb
2012
0

Top romantic place names

Are you looking for the perfect spot to take your loved one for Valentine’s Day? Of course, you could go to a lovely restaurant and wine and dine your nearest and dearest…or if you’re a lover of the great outdoors you could take them to somewhere with a romantic name! See our list of romantic place names on the map in Great Britain – and let us know if you think we’ve missed a gem!

1. Lover, Wiltshire – apparently the village post office is flooded with Valentine’s cards each February with romantics wanting the Lover postmark.

2. Heart’s Delight, Kent – there are actually two to choose from, one near Barham and one near Sittingbourne.

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22
Oct
2011
1

World place names in Great Britain

You can do a world tour without the need for one of these ...

You can do a world tour without the need for one of these …

Looking at the weather out of the window summer is a dim and distant memory, if indeed it ever happened at all! As the nights start to draw in and the leaves turn to various shades of brown I thought that we’d take ourselves off on a world tour today – without the need for a passport! Within our own shores we have places that sound as though they should be elsewhere in the world …

Let’s take in the sites of Europe first – we could go to Barcelona (Cornwall – OS grid reference SX219535), Holland (Surrey – OS grid reference TQ400504), Moscow (North Ayrshire – OS grid reference NS487402), Florence (Stoke on Trent – OS grid reference SJ918422) or Dresden (Stoke on Trent – OS grid reference SJ910423).

Heading into the Middle East we come across Bethlehem (Carmarthenshire – OS grid reference SN688253), Jerusalem (Cumbria – OS grid reference NY657194) and Jordan (Devon – OS grid reference SX699750).

Rather than heading out across the Atlantic why not try Hollywood (Worcestershire – OS grid reference SP083774), Dallas (Moray – OS grid reference NJ114519), Houston (Renfrewshire – OS grid reference NS405668) or Canada (Hampshire – OS grid reference SU287182).

If you’re after an antipodean adventure then look no further than Melbourne (Derbyshire – OS grid reference SK397248), Botany Bay (Enfield – OS grid reference TQ299 992), Sydney (Cheshire – OS grid reference SJ726565), New Zealand (Wiltshire – OS grid reference SU011773), Christchurch (Dorset – OS grid reference SZ153926) or Wellington (Telford – OS grid reference SJ646122).

Using Ordnance Survey maps – where else can you visit on your world tour without leaving Great Britain?

9
Feb
2011
0

Britain’s romantic place names

Over the last few months we’ve looked at spooky place names, we’ve looked at festive place names and we’ve even written about ‘alternative’ place names. But with love in the air at this time of year, it’s about time we revealed Britain’s most romantic place names.

A quick search of our place name gazetteer reveals that the country is blossoming with plenty of places for budding romantics to confess their love on Valentine’s Day.

Ahhhhhhh

Ahhhhhhh

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6
Dec
2010
1

A trip around Britain’s festive place names

After the fun we had compiling a list of Britain’s Spookiest Place Names back in October, I thought it was only right that with just 19 days until the big day to turned our attention to the festive season and the nation’s best Christmas themed locations…

From Cold Christmas (Hertfordshire) and Christmas Cross (Shropshire) to Holly Green (Worcestershire) and Ivy Tree (Cumbria), there are places scattered across the country where it feels like Christmas all year round – even if only in name.

As it approaches midnight on Christmas Eve, don’t forget to hang up your Stocking (Herefordshire) and leave out a Carrot (Angus) for Rudolph. You can pucker up at Mistletoe Oak in Herefordshire, dream of a white Christmas in Snow Falls (North Yorkshire), or make your way to Wiseman’s Bridge (Pembrokeshire) by the light of a Star (Somerset) – although you may like to use a good map instead.

Some places are more festive than others!

Some places are more festive than others!

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26
Oct
2010
0

Britain’s spookiest place names

With Halloween just around the corner, it’s a great excuse to have a bit of fun looking at Britain’s spookiest place names.

Place names have been a bit of a running theme over the past few weeks, what with Location Lingo and last week’s look at how history has influencedthe names of places and regions across the country.

In preparation for this post, I asked people to contribute their spookiest place names on Twitter, and are some of my favourites – enjoy!

Pumpkins!

Pumpkins!

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20
Oct
2010
1

What’s in a place name?

We’ve written a lot recently about place name nicknames as part of the Location Lingo project. There have been some wonderful contributions; my favourites are probably Basingrad for Basingstoke and Ponte Carlo for Pontefract.

But, the stories behind ‘official’ place names are every bit as fascinating and intriguing, and can tell us a lot about our history and the development of the English language. I spoke to Glen Hart, our Head of Research, to uncover more on the history of place names …

Have you ever considered why some places are called what they are? Some may be obvious like Cambridge which grew around a bridge over the River Cam.  Another is Oxford which was a ford over the River Ox, but why are they lots of places ending in ‘Thorpe’ and ‘By’ in the north but hardly any in the south, and just where the do the names Westonzoyland and Sixpenny Handle come from?

The map of Great Britain shows a very rich and varied tapestry of place names and these reflect the development of the country from Celtic times to the present day. The Celts may not have been the first inhabitants but many of the names they used, especially those for natural features like hills and rivers in England are still with us today.

Westonzoyland

Britain has a rich variety of place names.

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5
Oct
2010
0

Location Lingo – mapping Britain’s pet place names

Did you know that Wednesday 13 October is English Language Day? Set up by the English Project, a Winchester based charity, English Language Day seeks to recognise the richness and vibrancy of English in all its forms.

The English Project

The English Project

To celebrate, we’re partnering with them for something called Location Lingo. If you look at a map, you’ll find ‘official’ place names, but those aren’t necessarily what those places are called in everyday life. In fact we probably all use names that would look pretty out of place on an Ordnance Survey map!

There are the obvious ones, like The Big Smoke and Pompey but there are hundreds of others. Take, for example, these three nicknames suggested by @PontoonDock – ‘Cas Vegas’ for Castleford, ‘Stalyvegas’ referring to Stalybridge and the wonderful ‘Ponte Carlo’ for Pontefract.

So the idea of Location Lingo is to capture these names and the colourful stories behind them.

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31
May
2019
1

Places of Poetry: ‘your places, your poems, our national story’

As maps can be relevant to pretty much any subject, we are very fortunate to be able to support some amazing projects – and Places of Poetry is no exception!

Have you ever explored the outdoors and found yourself inspired by the beauty around you? Or have you found yourself poring over a map and had a place name spark your imagination? From iconic historical sites to places of personal significance, the Places of Poetry project invites you to write poems and pin them to their map!

Places of Poetry is asking us all to think about the history and environment around us. Through creative writing, the aim of the project is to celebrate the diversity, heritage and personalities of places across England and Wales to prompt reflection on our national and cultural identities. And of course, no project with a sense of place would be complete without an OS map!

The map consists of two layers: an artistic map, based on decorative seventeenth-century county maps, and a second layer of Ordnance Survey data, allowing users to zoom in to a high level of detail. Read More

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