Things we actually see as we walk

March 29, 2007

England arguably holds the world record for longest history of using the English language, and consequently has a fair amount of residual signage demonstrating this usage over time.

Walking around you can’t help but notice a whole lot of street signs that make you chortle, or at least wonder.

Cock Lane, Love Lane (no prizes for guessing how these ones were named). Little Britain (yes, it’s actually a street in central London). Festing Street. Seething Lane (guesses? There might be a prize in that one*). North, South, East and West Tenter Streets, which define a small city block, and no tenter in the middle to be found. Bevis Marks. Eastcheap, Cheapside (in the Borough of Cheap, naturally); Poultry; Cornhill. Catherine Wheel Alley. Frostic Walk. Savage Gardens (and I thought maybe the band had a shred of originality in their name, at least). Also the unforgettable: Crutched Friars (this actually has a sensible explanation, but I won’t bore you with it).

Weydown Close

*Probably not, come to think of it.



  1. I like the River Piddle.

  2. Cock Lane and Love Lane are named respectively after roosters and the Tennis.

    Seething Lane is obviously very unhappy that it got made a ‘lane’ and not the ‘street’ that it rightly thinks it is.

    If you venture out into the countryside, be sure to stop at Bishop’s Itchington, Sheepy Magna and Appleton Wiske.

  3. 20 miles east of here is Lower Hellhole and slighly east of there is, you guessed it, Upper Hellhole. Dante approved.

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