By Tim Lambert
Acton comes from ac tun meaning oak farm or village
Barking was Berica ingas, which means Berica’s people
Barnet is derived from the Saxon word baernet, meaning a burned place, from the days when people cleared land for farming by burning trees.
An eg was an island or an area of dry land surrounded by marsh. It’s believed the ‘batter’ is derived from a man’s name, possibly Beaduric.
Bermondsey takes its name from a Saxon landowner. It was Beormund’s eg. The word eg meant an island, a promontory of land, or in this case an ‘island’ of dry land surrounded by marsh.
Bexley comes from byxe leah, which means box tree clearing
This street takes its name from Dominican friars. They were called blackfriars because of the colour of their costumes
It was broom leah or clearing where broom grew
Brixton was Brixi’s tun, Brixi’s farm or hamlet
Camden Town is named after the first earl of Camden who began development there
It was the ford of wild cats
This name is probably derived from the Saxon words ceg ham, meaning village by the tree stumps
The name Chelsea is derived from Saxon words cealc hythe. The word hythe meant a landing place for boats. The word cealc meant chalk so perhaps it was a chalky landing place for boats.
Hurst meant hill. The ‘chisle’ part is derived from the Saxon word cisel meaning gravel or shingle.
The word wick sometimes meant a specialised farm. Chiswick was the cheese farm.
Its name was originally clopp ham, which meant the village (ham) by the short hill (clopp)
It was the clerk’s well. It stood on the site of Farringdon Road
This was a wood with an uneven edge
This street takes its name from friars who lived there in the Middle Ages. The word crutched is a corruption of crouche, the old English word for cross. Their proper name was Friars of the Holy Cross.
Croydon probably takes its name from crog denu, which means saffron valley
Dagenham was Daecca’s ham or village
Deptford was the deep ford
Downing Street was built by George Downing in the late 17th century
Dulwich was dill wics. Wics means a wet meadow
Ealing was Gilla ingas the people of Gilla
This name comes from the words Ecgi’s Weir
Eltham may have been Elta’s ham, Elta’s village
The Saxon word feld meant open land. Enfield was Eana’s feld.
Finchley was finch leah or the clearing with finches
It takes its name from the Godyer family who lived here in the Middle Ages
It was once called green wic (the word wic meant a port)
Fulham was Fulla’s hamm or Fulla’s land by a river
Hackney was Hacca’s ey, an ‘island’ of dry land surrounded by marsh
It was the place where a smith made hammers
Its name meant homestead
Harrow takes its name from the Saxon word haerg which means a temple to pagan gods
Havering was Haefer ingas or Haefer’s people
It may have been the dun, meaning hill of a man named Hille
Holborn was the hol bourne, the brook in a ‘hole’ or hollow
Hounslow probably comes from Hund’s hluew meaning Hund’s slope or hill
Islington was Gisla inga dun, which means the hill (dun) belonging to Gisla
Kingston Upon Thames was once the king’s tun or estate
The name Lambeth is derived from the Saxon word hythe meaning a landing place for boats. It was a landing place where lambs were landed.
Its name was probably Leofsa’s ham (ham meant village)
This name comes from the words mere meaning pool and tun meaning farm or village
This street takes its name from an abbey dedicated to St Clare. The nuns were called sorores minores or little sisters of St Clare
Muswell is derived from words meaning mossy spring
This was the district of the city of London where Jews lived in the Middle Ages. In 1290 Jews were expelled from England. In the 17th century Jews were allowed to return and they gave Jewry Street its name.
Pall Mall takes its name from a game similar to croquet that was once played here
The Saxon word stede meant place or farm. So it was the plum stede.
Purley was pear leah or pear (tree) clearing
Richmond used to be called Shene. Henry VII renamed it after Richmond in Yorkshire
Hyth meant a landing place for boats and hryther meant cattle. The hryther hyth was the landing place for cattle
Soho is believed to get its name from an old hunting cry
It was called the south work and became known as Southwark
The Saxons called a Roman road a straet and their word for village was ham. So it was straet ham, the village by the Roman road.
Surbiton may have been sud bere tun, which means south barley farm
This was sud tun or south farm
This place-name comes from the words Tedd inga tun, which means the farm or hamlet belonging to Tedd
In the 17th century, there were hamlets around the Tower of London
Walthamstow comes from 3 Saxon words – weald meaning forest, ham meaning village, and stowe meaning place.
Wandsworth was once Waendel’s worth. A worth was an enclosure.
The second part of the name comes from the Saxon word stede meaning place. The first part of the name is probably from wen meaning hill. So it was the place by the hill.
Wembley was Wemba’s leah or Wemba’s clearing
Willesden was once wella’s dun, which means spring hill
Firewood was sold in this street
Wick meant port so it was the wool port