Continuing the theme of the origin of street names from last month’s article, have you ever wondered why your street is so named or how the name was derived? In some cases names may have just been plucked out the air, but the origins of local street names can be interesting.
Although some names can appear meaningless, their basis is often derived from historic connections to the area or even to a link outside the area with non-descript subjects.
For example, a small group of early 20th century streets clustered in Monkseaton have a spurious connection to Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) who was a Scottish historical novelist, playwright, and poet.
The streets in question are: St. Ronan’s Road, Waverley Avenue, Kenilworth Road, Marmion Terrace, Abbotsford Park, Melrose Avenue and Kensington Gardens and although Scott had no apparent connection to this area, the decision to adopt these names appears to be relative to his life and works.
‘St. Ronan’s Well’, ‘Waverley’ and ‘Kenilworth’ are three of Scott’s novels. ‘Marmion’ is one of his poems. Scott lived at Abbotsford House in Melrose and died there in 1832.
A copy of Scott’s book ‘Peveril of the Peak’, which was being read to the Prince Albert on his death bed in 1861, is kept open at the page with a black-edged bookmark at the time he passed away, and is retained at Kensington Palace. The street names and the connection to Sir Walter Scott is therefore readily apparent, however the reason behind this choice for a group of roads in Monkseaton is unknown.
Other street names in the area which have no particular significance, other than being named after trees, are the eleven roads which form the basis of Seatonville Estate, built in 1947, namely Appletree Gardens, Ashtree Gardens, Baytree Gardens, Birchtree Gardens, Cedartree Gardens, Cedar Close, Cherrytree Gardens, Elmtree Gardens, Firtree Gardens, Oaktree Gardens and Pinetree Gardens.
Interestingly, no houses were constructed on either Ashtree or Birchtree Gardens, which are simply access and exit roads of the estate. Every street on the estate still bears its original concrete plaque, which is set into the brickwork of boundary walls or end-houses.
There are also ‘themed’ streets in the area. For example, many of those on the southern part of Red House Farm Estate are named after Scottish and English Golf Courses, such as Rosemount, Carnoustie, Turnberry, Fairways, Meadowfield, Muirfield, St. Andrews, Sunningdale, Sandringham and Lytham. Similarly, the names of the roads on the new West Park development at Wellfield are based on the region’s mining heritage and lower coal seams i.e. Marshall Green Way, Hauxley Drive, Saltwick Gardens, Victoria Grove, Ayle Grove, Coanwood Drive, Rowlington Way, Stobswood Grove and Brockwell Grove.
by Charlie Steel © 2014
Further reading for many of Charlie’s articles can be found in his books: ‘Monkseaton Village’ (Vol. 1 & 2), North Shields Public Houses, Inns & Taverns’ (Part 1 & 2) and ‘Tynemouth Remembered’ all published by Summerhill Books.