Bedfordshire Place Names
Ever wondered why our towns and villages are so named? Were they a deliberate creation by our ancestors or did they evolve naturally over time? Which town is named for being alongside ‘the stream of winding water plants’ or ‘where honey is gathered’? How many birds of prey did it require to name Leighton Buzzard? And where is a road sharing an origin with the American term for a baby’s nappy?
Here we examine the origins of the names with which we are otherwise so familiar. Towns, villages, districts, hills, streams, woods, farms, fields, streets and even pubs are examined and explained. Some of the definitions give a glimpse of life in the earliest days, and for the author there is nothing more satisfying than finding a name which gives such a snapshot. The definitions are supported by anecdotal evidence, bringing to life the individuals and events which have influenced the places and the way these names have developed.
This is not just a dictionary but a history and will prove invaluable not only for those who live and work in the county but also visitors and tourists, historians and former inhabitants, indeed anyone with an interest in Bedfordshire.
Published: 30 November 2015
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