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The Monarchy’s legacy on place names in Great Britain

31 May 2022
Ordnance Survey
Behind the scenesOS OpenData
mappingbritish place names

Her Majesty the Queen is set to become the first British Monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee after a staggering 70 years of service.

To celebrate this special occasion, events will take place across Great Britain and the Commonwealth from the 2nd – 5th June 2022.

When people think of Great Britain one of the first things they will think of is the Royal Family. It is little wonder when you consider the first King of England, Athelstan, lived over 1,000 years ago between 895 and 939 AD.

All of that history has had an indelible impact on the country, and it is still relevant today. The Royal Family continues to be an important tourist attraction and it is still the subject of numerous hit TV programmes.

But one of the lesser considered impacts is place names. British people do not think twice about roads, places or even pubs being named after the Royal Family.

Streets

Across Great Britain there are an incredible 7,966 streets with the word Queen, King, Royal, Jubilee, Monarch, Coronation or Crown in the title.

With the upcoming Jubilee in mind, the most popular street title with Royal connotations is fittingly ‘Queen Street’. There are 563 ‘Queen Streets’ across Great Britain, from Stryd Y Frenhines (Queen Street) in Llandovery, Wales to Queen Street in Inverness, Scotland.

The second most popular Royal road name in Great Britain is King Street, with 542 roads. In third place you have Queen’s Road, with 398 dotted around Britain.

Places

There are certainly less places with Royal connotations than road names. In fact, there are no places in Great Britain with the word Jubilee, Monarch or Coronation in the title.

There are only 86 places in Great Britain with a Royal connection in their name. Arguably the most notable towns that have a Royal link contain the word Royal in them, namely Royal Leamington Spa, Royal Tunbridge Wells and Royal Wootton Bassett.

However fans of Scottish football team, Queens Park FC, the oldest association football club in Scotland, might contest that, and there are five other Queens Park’s across Britain.

King is certainly the most popular Royal place name, with 53 scattered across Britain, including Kings Lynne in Norfolk and Kings Cross in London.

Pubs

Quite a lot of people will be taking the opportunity to visit the pub over the Queen’s Jubilee, so it’s only right we look into how many British pubs have a Royal word in their name.

Across Britain there are 819 pubs that contain the word Queen, King, Royal, Jubilee, Coronation or Crown.

It will come as a shock to no one that has spent time in Britain that the most popular pub name is officially The Royal Oak. There are 68 ‘The Royal Oak’ pubs in Britain and 157 in total if you include variations like ‘Royal Oak’ or ‘Royal Oak Inn’.

Notable mentions must also include ‘The Queen’s Head’, The Queen’s Arms’, ‘The King’s Head’ and ‘The King’s Arms’ which amass 210 different watering holes between them.

How do we know this?

At Ordnance Survey (OS) we capture, maintain and provide location data of unrivalled detail and accuracy, as well as having over two centuries of know-how and expertise.

Since 2010 OS has made 360 million changes to the Master Map of Great Britain, which equates to over 20,000 changes per day. This means that the location data we hold is the most authoritative geographic data available in Great Britain, relied on by government, businesses and individuals every day.

The information in this article was calculated using:

  • The street information came from OS MasterMap Highways Network – the most complete, detailed and accurate routable road network dataset for Great Britain
  • The place names were utilised via OS Open Names – the most comprehensive dataset containing the names and locations of named places across Great Britain
  • The pub names came from AddressBase Plus which contains current properties and addresses managed by GeoPlace and sourced from local authorities, OS and Royal Mail data.

Where are all the Queen’s’ streets and buildings?

Our colleagues at GeoPlace have also put together a series of visualisations to commemorate the Jubilee. They have mapped street and building names containing 'Queen', 'Jubilee' and 'Queen Elizabeth' and you can enjoy them here

Ordnance Survey
By Ordnance Survey
Press Office

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