Name changer

Pity the poor postman (or cabbie) when trying to locate some misspelled parts of London. You would have thought that after years of use some kind of conformity would result.

When writing about London’s New River I found the owner had had his name spelled in every conceivable way.

Sir Hugh Myddelton on many roads or Myddelton in the case of the local school.

[N]ow thanks to the patient research by Bruce Hunt I have discovered it was once misspelled Midleton Grove. I came across this treasure trove of information when tracing my family tree for many London streets where my ancestors once lived do not now exist.

At times local authorities actively change the spelling. For many years Harringay developed by the Victorians took its name from Harringay House, the grounds of which occupied most of the area west of modern Green Lanes. In the early 20th century the Municipal Borough of Hornsey tried to enforce the use of the Harringey spelling, resistance by locals prevented its adoption. But in 1965 when the local boundaries were reorganised with the combining of Hornsey, Wood Green and Tottenham, the councillors of Hornsey got their revenge and chose the name Haringey – its sounds almost posh don’t you know?

Bridgeman Road Sometimes incorrect spelling is just done by bumbling burgers. Take the poor residents under Islington’s aegis. If you live in Hazellville Road the council often fail to give it the four L rating calling the street Hazelville Road while the 41 bus digitally displays the arrival at Hazel Ville Road.

The Victorians tried to bring order from the chaos of duplicated and miss-spelt streets. The Street Renaming Scheme was started in 1857 by The Metropolitan Board of Works this was following the General Post Office who had started introducing Postal Districts the previous year. Many streets were renamed or their spelling clarified which has led to more confusion.

Leirum Street Not to be outdone in this fine tradition of ambiguity Islington Council – yes it’s them again thought up a terrific wheeze.

Muriel Street, itself a fairly short thoughfare was split in two when the Barnsbury Estate was built. It was decided to rename one of the halves, to avoid confusion and the name given was Leirum Street.

A rather strange moniker – does it commemorate a notable local dignitary, or previous landowner? No, it derives its name from Muriel spelt backwards.

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