What's In A Name?
Local Historian Gillan Clegg On Derivations of Chiswick's Street Names
The derivations of the names of Chiswick's roads and streets are many and various writes Gillian Clegg.
Some are named after prominent residents, some after the developers who built the roads, others take their names from large houses which once stood in Chiswick, or from events at the time the road etc was built. Some have other meanings and some we don't know why they were so called. Words printed in italic type signify the names of roads and streets in Chiswick.
NAMED FOR THE FAMOUS These are some of the famous Chiswick residents whose names live on: the Earl of Burlington, Barbara Villiers, Duchess of Cleveland, the Earl Fauconberg, the Earl of Grantham, General Eliot later, Lord Heathfield, William Hogarth, the Earl of Wilmington, traveller, Sir John Chardin, local worthy W J Compton and the Welstead family.
But by far the largest group of names comes from the Cavendish family, Dukes of Devonshire. They owned Bolton Abbey and, Chatsworth, and were connected with towns and villages called Chesterfield, Edensor, Eastbourne and Staveley. The 5th Duke married Georgiana Spencer. The heir to the Devonshire dukedom was known as the Marquis of Hartington, the 6th Duke's sister who also lived at Chiswick House, was the Duchess of Sutherland and Sir Joseph Paxton was the Duke’s gardener.
NAMED AFTER OTHER PEOPLE Chiswick clergy are also commemorated in street names: the Rev Lawford Dale, vicar of St Nicholas in the 19th century, the three children - Geraldine, Ernest and Herbert - of the Rev Nevison Loraine, the first vicar of St Paul's Grove Park and Dr Thornton, one-time Prebendary of Chiswick. Prebend Gardens derives from the Prebendal Manor, one of Chiswick’s two manors.
These people had some responsibility for developing the roads that bear their name: Thomas Hearne, whose solicitor's son was called Alwyn, John Mordaunt Foster, Thomas Hadley, Alexander Fraser, George Reckitt, Joseph Quick and Mr Binns. The Kinnaird Park Estate developed some of Grove Park.
OTHER NAMES Some roads etc are named after these grand houses, all now demolished: Arlington House, Annandale House, Belmont House, Corney House, Fairlawn, The Grange, Grove House, Linden House, Merton Lodge and Stile Hall.
Homefield , Berrygates (corrupted to Barrowgate) and Glebe were the names of Chiswick fields. St Thomas's Hospital with which Florence Nightingale was associated had its sports ground in Chiswick. The names of British Grove and Pumping Station Road are derived from the British School and the pumping station for Chiswick sewage works, Horticultural Place from the Royal Horticultural Society which had gardens in Chiswick.
People who were in the news at the time roads bearing their names were built were Sir Garnet Wolseley who led a British expedition to Egypt in 1882 and failed to rescue General Gordon at Khartoum in 1884; Col Burnaby who was killed in the battle of Abu Klea during the same campaign. In 1882 Queen Victoria's youngest son married Princess Helena of Waldeck-Pyrmont. Wellesley is the family name of the Duke of Wellington, although he is not known to have any connection with Chiswick.
Many of the street and road names in Bedford Park, which is built in the architectural style known as `Queen Anne Revival', are thought to have been called after people who lived in the time of Queen Anne (1665-1714) viz: Joseph Addison, Henry Esmond (hero of Thackeray's novel?), Henry Fielding, Thomas Gainsborough, Sir Isaac Newton and the Duke of Marlborough who was also Marquis of Blandford, his architect Vanbrugh, his house at Woodstock and the victories he achieved at the battles of Blenheim and Ramilies. Prince Rupert and General Fairfax of Civil War fame are thought to have given their names to Rupert Road and Fairfax Road.
The Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race has named two roads. Harvard was another university team that raced on the Thames.
Reproduced with kind the permission of Open Chiswick.
June 17, 2007