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Quiz about Origins of London Streets and Suburbs
Quiz about Origins of London Streets and Suburbs

Origins of London Streets and Suburbs Quiz

Can you match the correct names for some of London's unusually named streets or suburbs? Have fun.

A matching quiz by Creedy. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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4 mins
Match Quiz
Quiz #
Dec 03 21
# Qns
Avg Score
7 / 10
Top 20% Quiz
Last 3 plays: Guest 59 (2/10), wellenbrecher (10/10), Guest 90 (5/10).
Mobile instructions: Press on an answer on the right. Then, press on the gray box it matches on the left.
(a) Drag-and-drop from the right to the left, or (b) click on a right side answer box and then on a left side box to move it.
1. The street along which knights travelled to jousts  
2. An Old English word for "market"  
Shooters Hill Road
3. A grassy ditch marking property boundaries  
Knightrider Street
4. Named after the family who once lived there  
Ha-Ha Road
5. Name associated with the old Roman sewer, Cloaca Maxima  
Bleeding Heart Yard
6. Named after a foreign eatery with fixed prices  
Cloak Lane
7. An area for archery practice  
French Ordinary Court
8. Named after an inn that existed there at one time  
Drury Lane
9. Named after a butcher's product of entrails and organs  
10. Falsely believed to be associated with a medieval insane asylum  
Pudding Lane

Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. The street along which knights travelled to jousts

Answer: Knightrider Street

Located to the south of St Paul's Cathedral in London, this street supposedly received its name because it was the street along which knights travelled from the Tower Royal, to attend jousting tournaments at Smithfield, a violent form of entertainment if ever there was one. Jousting was carried out between two knights on horseback who galloped towards each other holding long lances with blunted tips.

Its object was to strike the opponent horseman with such force in the centre of his armour as to topple him from his steed.

In spite of its violence and possibility of death, it was a popular form of entertainment in London from the 11th to the 14th centuries.
2. An Old English word for "market"

Answer: Cheapside

Cheapside is found to the west of St Paul's Cathedral in London. Its name had nothing at all (as one might assume) to do with purchasing inexpensive goods or accommodation. Instead, it derives from the Old English word "chepe" which means "market" today. Definitely a retail area though, nearby streets were Bread Street, Ironmonger's Lane, Poultry Street, Stew Street and the like. Stew Lane, Incidentally, had nothing to do with food at all, but was the site of several well known brothels.
3. A grassy ditch marking property boundaries

Answer: Ha-Ha Road

The road crosses Woolwich Common, near Greenwich, in south east London. There are a few reminders left of the historical origins of Ha Ha Road. These are a drinking fountain and an old horse trough. Woolwich itself had known human settlement since the Iron Age.

A "ha ha" was an old word for a dry, grass filled ditch, or wall, that served to mark the boundary between any two estates. More effective than a fence, it was an efficient way of keeping animals of a neighbouring property from wandering over and eating the grass and crops there.

Other advantages were that it required little or no maintenance and didn't obstruct the view.
4. Named after the family who once lived there

Answer: Drury Lane

Located near Covent Garden, this lane had nothing to do with the traditional nursery rhyme "The muffin Man" who lived in Drury Lane, but was simply named after the Drury family who once lived on an estate in that area of London. After they eventually moved on, the lane became known as a centre of various theatrical groups and performance, the most famous of which was the Theatre Royal.
5. Name associated with the old Roman sewer, Cloaca Maxima

Answer: Cloak Lane

Another thoroughfare with a misleading name, and nothing to do with clothing of any kind, Cloak Lane is believed to have been given its name because the smell of the area reminded the Romans who moved there (after conquering England in 43 AD) of the famous Roman sewer, Cloaca Maxima.

This sewer was one of the world's earliest sewer systems, and was built by the Etruscans in what became Rome, to drain the marshes there and carry effluent down to the River Tiber. Even today, thousands of years later, this amazing engineering works still drains water away from Central Rome.
6. Named after a foreign eatery with fixed prices

Answer: French Ordinary Court

French Ordinary, found to the north of the Tower of London, is an exceptionally short street in London today, but was once much longer than that. It earned its name for two reasons. The first was that a restaurant there was famous for the French fare it served.

The second was that the food wasn't ordinary by any means, but that the word "ordinary" meant its food was served at fixed prices. That restaurant still existed before the Great Fire of London, but was not heard of afterwards.
7. An area for archery practice

Answer: Shooters Hill Road

Found in the south east of London near Greenwich, Shooter's Hill Road is one of London's highest spots. This road was given its name, sensibly enough, because archers practised their skills at the bow there during the Middle Ages. Highway men hung out around this area as well and it was also used to display the bodies of executed criminals on gibbets.

It seems rather odd for highway men to hang about (pardon the pun) there as well.
8. Named after an inn that existed there at one time

Answer: Bleeding Heart Yard

Today, Bleeding Heart Yard, is located near Farringdon in London. Legend would have it that it was named after the murder of one Lady Elizabeth Hatton, but sadly, its origins are nowhere as intriguing as that. Instead, it was the site of a 16th century inn that once existed there in Charles Street during Reformation times. Such was its fame in days gone by, it even warranted a mention in Charles Dickens' work "Little Dorrit" as the residence of the Plornish family.

In more recent times, it has become famous for its restaurants selling fine French cuisine.
9. Named after a butcher's product of entrails and organs

Answer: Pudding Lane

A minor street in London today, located not far from London Bridge in Eastcheap, Pudding Lane is famous for being the site where the Great Fire of London began in 1666. How long it had existed prior to that time is unknown. "Puddings" is an old medieval word for the offal of animals slaughtered by butchers.

The scraps and unwanted products from this trade were loaded onto carts and taken down to be disposed of by waste barges in the Thames river. The route these carts took went through an area that soon became known as Pudding Lane because of the offal that dropped off the carts here and there. Pudding Lane, in fact, was known originally as Offal Pudding Lane.

This famous little street was one of the world's first street to become one way. That took place way back in 1617 by order of the authorities.
10. Falsely believed to be associated with a medieval insane asylum

Answer: Barking

Located to the east of Charing Cross, Barking was once a fishing and farming settlement originally known in Anglo-Saxon days as "Berecingas". That either meant "home of the descendant of Bereca" or "the settlement by Birch trees". This very old area of London dates back at least to the year 735. Over the centuries that followed, its name slowly evolved to Barking.

A medieval insane asylum attached to Barking Abbey is thought to have once existed in this area. The British slang "barking mad" is supposed to derive from this, but this is not true. That that particular expression doesn't appear anywhere on record until the 20th century.
Source: Author Creedy

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May 17 2023 : Guest 59: 2/10
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