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Ever thought about the meaning of your street's name?

January 30th 2014
By: Melanie Hollidge
Ever thought about the meaning of your street's name?

Street names are something that most of us take for granted in Surrey, but have you ever wondered where they come from?
 
The history of our street names is a complicated one, with some of them dating back to the Roman period, over 2,000 years ago. Anglo Saxons, who came to the UK after this period also left their mark on our street names and places, giving them names ending in –ham, -ton, or -ington which means they were originally named after forgotten Anglo Saxon Chiefs.
 
Road names ending in –ley would have been a clearing in a wood associated with the name of a farm or homestead. Much has changed since then and now it’s normally the job of local councils to decide the names of our roads. In recent years councils have tried to demonstrate their grasp of environmental, social and diversity through the street names they have chosen. New age ideas have also had an influence on the names of our roads, reflected in roads such as Karma Way or Yoga Way as well as environmentally friendly names such as Eco way and Euro Close. Experts say that we are following the path of the Romans, naming our roads after the nature of society around us.
 
If you have ever questioned why our roads are named anything from avenue to way, here is an explanation of why:
 
Road – this is the name of a road that runs from two locations, for example one that goes from one town to another.
 
Street – these are found within a town, lined with homes and there is usually a pavement.
 
Way – this is a minor or small road leading off from a road in a town.
 
Avenue – this is normally a tree lined street, or a cobbled street with rows of houses on either side.
 
Drive – this would have been a road leading up to a private house.
 
Court – this is normally a short street leading to a courtyard of houses in a compound.
 
Source: The Telegraph