What’s in a name?

HAVE you ever driven into a new town, or down a previously unchartered street, to find the place in question has a baffling, interesting or downright hilarious name?

If the answer is no, then it’s time to look around, because on our journeys throughout the county, staff at the Derbyshire Times have eyed some pretty unusual appellations.

In Chesterfield town centre you can find a host of place names deriving from historial events, and even from the people who once inhabited them.

For example, Glumangate, Knifesmithgate and Saltergate refer to the tradesmen who once lived there. Gate is from the old Danish word ‘gata’ meaning street, and in the middle ages, minstrels or ‘Glumans’, knifesmiths and salt miners would live in these designated areas.

Then of course there is Stephenson Place, named after the inventor George Stephenson and Queen’s Park, in honour of Queen Victoria’s diamond jubiliee in 1897.

And although it is safe to assume William Shakespeare never set up home in these parts, a street in Grassmoor is labelled with his moniker.

But it isn’t just Shakespeare Street that pays homage to our country’s greatest writers. In Grassmoor, several streets are named after key literary figures, including one of our most popular poets, Alfred Lord Tennyson.

Just round the corner are two streets named after the leading wordsmiths of the Romantic period, Lord Byron and John Keats.

That’s not forgetting the array of food-related place names including Bacons Lane in Chesterfield, Watercress Lane in Danesmoor, Almond Close in Calow, and Hunger Hill in Ashover.

It isn’t just street names that have caught our attention - although Shunters Drift in Barlborough is a DT favourite. Derbyshire is also home to strange towns, buildings and villages.

There were once the villages of ‘A’ Winning at Blackwell and ‘B’ Winning at Hilcote which were mining areas pitted against each other to source the most coal.

And Salem is a word associated with witches, vampires and the ghoulish underworld. Strange then, that there is a Methodist chapel with the same name in Wingerworth.

Have you spotted any strange place names on the patch? Email comment@derbyshiretimes.co.uk

Our Facebook fans had plenty to share when it came to the place names they had spotted out and about.

Will Jackson, said: “Pump Close in Starkholmes.”

Chris Needham, said: “Hope in the Hope Valley.”

Rosemary Eddas, said: “Deepsick Lane, near Arkwright, Fabric View at Holmewood and Turnditch, near Belper”

Jonathan Woodhead, said: “Pudding Bag Lane, Ashover.”

Wendy Joel, said: “I always like the irony of the sign for Broad Pavement over a strip of pavement 6 inches wide.”

Steven Cope, said: “Hey I went up the Devil’s Arse in Castleton last year, is the the kind of thing you mean?”

Nigel Bradbury, said: “Pillough? Near Stanton?”