In the past on the blog we’ve looked at spooky place names, festive place names and we’ve even written about ‘alternative’ place names. But with love in the air today, we thought we’d put Britain’s most romantic place names on the map.
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. So, we’ve taken a list of romantic place names and added them to our romantic OS OpenSpace map. So, if you want to take your Truelove (Devon) for a romantic stroll to say Isle of Ewe (say it out loud), you can now see the best spots to visit.
If you are interested in walking and want to understand more about the stories behind your favourite places in Great Britain, then why not visit www.discoveringbritain.org. The new website from the Royal Geographical Society with IBG is a must see for anyone who wants to discover more about Britain’s fantastic landscapes. An additional bonus for visitors is that all the walks are displayed on Ordnance Survey mapping though our great online mapping service OS OpenSpace.
Every place has a story to tell – whether dramatic mountains, busy city centres, windswept beaches, rolling fields, leafy suburbs, quaint villages or expansive mud flats. The website allows you to discover how our amazing landscapes are shaped by people, historic events, the economy, the forces of nature and much more. Through the website you can search for walks in three different ways – by the type of landscape at the heart of the story, by the setting of the walks, and by location or geographical region. When you select the walk which appeals to you, it can be viewed on an Ordnance Survey map.
You might have watched the news or read the papers recently and seen that the Wiltshire town of Wootton Bassett formally received the title ‘Royal’ in a ceremony on Sunday afternoon, 16 October. Royal Wootton Bassett was being recognised for its dedication in honouring Britain’s war dead in recent years.
The four years the residents had lined the streets of the town as a mark of respect to service personnel killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and being repatriated at nearby RAF Lyneham. Prime Minister David Cameron said that the tribute was a symbol of the nation’s gratitude to Wootton Bassett’s people.
The change of name also meant a change was needed in our mapping database at Ordnance Survey. The enormous amount of publicity around this name change meant we had plenty of notice and Wootton Bassett has now become Royal Wootton Bassett – and the change will be available to customers via future product updates.
We make some 5,000 changes each day to the national master map and thanks to the work of our 300 surveyors and an extensive aerial photography programme, significant changes are ‘on the map’ within six months of them appearing.
Adding ‘Royal’ to a town name isn’t one of our usual changes though, Royal Wootton Bassett is the first town in more than 100 years to be given the ‘royal’ title – and there are in fact, only two other English towns with this honour – can you name them?
There are also a number of royal boroughs, such as Kensington and Chelsea and there will be a new borough added next year in honour of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee – do you know where that is?
We’ll add the answers later if nobody posts the correct answers…
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.
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!
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.
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.
There has been a bit of media coverage around in the last couple of week about some research we’re supporting at Cardiff University. It’s called Peoples’ Place Names, and they’re studying what’s known as Vernacular Geography.
What I might think of as the East End of London, or Shirley in Southampton, might be completely different from the next person, or at least different in ways I don’t realise. And that can still be the case even when a place has official boundaries.
For people that live or work in these places, the boundaries are often a matter of strong and passionate opinion. Have you ever met someone who, upon selling their house, was adamant that they didn’t live in a particular part of town?