I came across a house today on the Guardian, and would buy it solely for its proximity to the village of Queen Camel. What a brilliant name! It reminded me of a place where I interviewed for a position when I lived in the UK – the town of Leighton Buzzard. I could only imagine my stationery with that as the address. I’d have to come up with some wonderfully funny cipher for it.
One of the things I’ve always loved about the UK is the place names, like Chipping Norton and Chipping Campden and Broad Campden, Upper Slaughter and Lower Slaughter, Bourton-on-the-Hill in Moreton-in-Marsh, and Shipton-under-Wychwood. A place called Childswickham is probably pronounced Chick-am. There are places that are near something else, like Brockhampton Park, Nr. Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. I had a friend whose address was “Home Farm, Nr. Barry, Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales”. No numbers, no street, just this string of information… and a post code.
It’s not just in the country where you find the funny place names. In London, there’s Kentish Town, St. Marylebone and The Little Boltons. I took the picture below for the children of one of my brother’s friends… the Little Boltons. History is all around you.