- BINGHAM: AN OVERVIEW
- HISTORY OF BINGHAM
- STUDY OF OLD MAPS
- BUILT HERITAGE
- CRIME AND PUNISHMENT
- FARMING IN BINGHAM
- BINGHAM AT WAR
- BINGHAM'S RAILWAYS
- ORAL HISTORY
- NATURAL HISTORY
Street Names of Bingham
The names given to streets in any
community are rarely accidental! Common themes might be
1 to indicate the route to a nearby settlement
2 to indicate or commemorate a local landmark, function or prominent building
3 to commemorate people or families, such as local land owners, celebrities or benefactors
4 to identify a particular development with themed names.
Bingham has examples of all of these!
There are many references around the BHTA web site to street
names and some of the changes made to them. This page pulls
all the threads together and identifies as much as BHTA has
so far discovered about the derivation of street names in
Bingham. BHTA would welcome information on the following for
which no authenticated or logically arguable derivation has
so far been forthcoming- Raymond Drive,
Hill Drive, Victoria Road and Douglas Road.
The current Rushcliffe Borough Council policy is to avoid any duplication of street names anywhere in the borough.
The ‘Old Town’
The reasons for most street names in the centre of Bingham are fairly self evident.
Nottingham Road and Grantham Road clearly lead towards each of these major towns and follow a common practice of naming the main roads of a town.
At the end of Grantham Road is Derry Lane, named after a family that has been present in Bingham since the sixteenth century. Beyond, just before the filling station is Brickyard Lane, now a cart track leading to a field which was the site of a old brickworks.
Bingham does not have a High Street or a Main Street (many local villages have a Main Street). Bingham’s main thoroughfare is Long Acre, often referred to in old documents as the Turnpike. The name of the famous London Street, Long Acre, seems to have derived from:
Forty acres, known as "le Covent Garden" plus "the long acre", were granted by royal patent in perpetuity to John Baron Russell, the first Earl of Bedford.
Thus perhaps the most logical explanation is that Bingham followed London and derived the name from the physical area of the street - it is about 12 yards wide and roughly 400 yards long, making 4800sq yds (4840 to an acre). The only problem is that Long Acre used to include Long Acre East, easily doubling the length! The earliest reference we have found to the use of Long Acre East is the 1891 census.
It could also relate to its previous name and occupation of many residents. Long Acre was Husband or Husbandman Street - husbandmen being farmers, of which there were many along here until relatively recently (1950s). Another possibility is suggested by the reference by New Zealand farmers to the ‘Long Acre’:
farm the long acre (New Zealand) to graze cows on the verge of a road
This refers to the practice of grazing cattle on roadside verges. Might cattle have been grazed in Long Acre this way - or at least might it be a reference to transient grazing on the way to and from farmyards? It’s a thought - the New Zealand expression must have come from somewhere!
In addition to Bingham and London only four other towns in the UK have a reasonably long street called Long Acre.
Market Place and Market Street have always been such and have obvious derivations. Some documents from 1810 describe Market Street as ‘the Town Street leading to the Market Place’. Eaton Place is named after Doctor James Eaton, a surgeon who served Bingham from about 1865 to 1908. He lived and practised at 2 Long Acre (Westview).
Church Street leads to the Parish Church, but it was called Church Gate in a directory for 1793 and some deed documents ( for White Lodge) of 1692 (Gate being the Danish name for a street). Church Lane (or Path) similarly is a footpath named because of its proximity to the Church. Cherry Street dates back at least as far as the 1841 tithe map and is assumed to derive from one of the orchard crops grown here - orchards lined the west side until 1920.
East Street leads eastwards and includes the path along the north side of the churchyard, which used to be of street width until the churchyard was extended northwards towards the end of the 1600s. The 1881 census uses ‘East Street’ as the address for the former crossing house at the end of Cogley Lane, for Holme Farm and for Brocker Farm. The present day line of the footpath from the end of East Street across Crow Close and beyond Carnarvon School leads to Brocker Farm. In the electoral register for the 1930s the path is called ‘Church Walk’ and is treated as part of East Street. Leading northwards off East Street alongside the churchyard used to be Chancel Yard, named after that part of the church building, and commemorated now in the name, Chancel House, of the former offices of the building company which developed the Church Farm Estate. Fosters Lane, leading to Long Acre, was named after a family of farmers once (1832 directory) on Long Acre, possibly at Porchester Farm which stands nearby. East Grove is the site of the former East Grove Farm.
Station Street clearly leads to the Railway Station (although Bingham did once have two of these!) but before that it was Chesterfield Street, named after the Earls of Chesterfield who used to own much of the land in Bingham. In particular they at one time did own all the land on both sides of Station Street. Interestingly, the present name was given some time after the station was built, and indeed it existed as Chesterfield Street only from about 1855. Census information suggests it changed between 1861 and 1871. In documents of May 1857 relating to Cromwell House it was Chesterfield Street, so the urge to recognise the lord of the manor was clearly stronger than that to celebrate the newly arrived railway! But by October of 1857 the Land Tax assessment placed Cromwell House firmly in Station Street! This is not the only example of nineteenth century muddle about street names one has come across! The development of the land either side of Station Street followed and presumably was encouraged by the arrival of the railway. Documents for 4 and 6 Station Street from as late as 1895 had Chesterfield Street crossed out and replaced with Station Street, so possibly the new name took a while to gain currency!
In the census of 1851 the Railway Station is said to be ‘near the Market Place’ suggesting a formal street had not yet been developed. The tithe map of 1841 shows only a lane for which as yet no name has come to light. In the 1915 electoral register Chesterfield Street made a brief comeback when the station house was shown as being in Chesterfield and the other houses in Station Street!
At the end of Station Street, Langtry Gardens recalls the visits to Bingham of the famous actress of the late 1800s and early 1900s. She was a friend of Rector Robert Miles’ son Frank, an accomplished artist. Langtry Gardens is on land formerly part of the rectory grounds. Opposite, Old Mill Close recalls the steam mills that stood on this site until the 1920s.
Moor Lane, a name going back at least to 1586 and until the early 1900s spelled Moore, led northwards to the moorlands (hence the name of the Day Centre here) used for pasture before enclosure in the late seventeenth century. In medieval times it was the road to East Bridgford; indeed the preambles to the 1841 and 1851 censuses describe Moor Lane as ‘leading to East Bridgford’. The modern footpath follows its line to Margidunum roundabout. Miss Wortley suggests it may previously have been Mere Lane - leading to the swampy area near the Fosse Road called Beau Mere. The village lock up was here. Bingham's first workhouse, built in 1769, was in Moor Lane - the directory of 1835 lists ‘Workhouse, Moor Lane – Edward Dean, Master’. This early workhouse was replaced by the 1836 building on Nottingham Road. Moorbridge Road, on the Industrial Estate refers to the bridge across the stream onto the moors. The track leading westwards from the rail crossing used to be Doubleday Lane presumably after the well-to-do family who were recorded in Bingham from the late 1500s and whose descendent was a druggist and insurance agent in the Market Place in the 1880s. It led from Moor Lane to Shelford.
Wortley suggests Newgate Street was formerly Back Street, a name still used at the time she wrote A History of Bingham (1954). She claims a toll house was set up at the west end of the ‘new street’ to collect tolls from horse and cart, animals per head, and pedestrians. The money was supposedly used to pay for the upkeep of the town’s roads. No other evidence of this has arisen. There are no references to toll keepers around here in census returns. The tithe map of 1841 mentions only two toll houses - Buggins’ Cottage and Granby Lane. It is likely that in medieval times the back lane continued in virtually a straight line to link with the path to the rear of the churchyard shown on Sanderson’s 1835 map.
Gillotts Close (pronounced by Bingham folk as Jillots) is an early 1960s development on land once belonging to Newgate Street Farm (now number 8 Newgate Street). This was farmed by Arthur Gillott and his descendants from the 1890s to the 1940s. It had been Chesterfield Estate land and was sold in 1952.
Chapel Yard stood at the corner of Moor Lane and Newgate Street until the slum clearances of the 1950s. It was a collection of poor quality terraced cottages and a slaughter house. It was so named because it may have been the site of one of another of three chapels thought to have been established in Bingham - Brown’s History of Nottinghamshire (1896) says: ‘Chapel Yard suggests the locality of another sacred shrine’. Green Lane is the track leading north from Newgate Street after James Terrace. It presumably means what it says - green lanes developed with the enclosure movement to give access to the fields, often with wide verges for grazing livestock (see Long Acre above). Green Lane was the address of the cottage here in the 1930’s electoral register, and of Morris’ Row.
Union Street came into existence with the development of the Needham family plot by George Baxter and his associates into shops and houses on Market Street and Union Street from 1807. Adelaide Wortley suggests the name derives from the Poor Law Union and that it was the site of the first workhouse. However, this was built in 1769, well before the Market Street development, and was in Moor Lane. It is just possible that Union Street was the location of the temporary workhouse mentioned in the minutes of the Board of Guardians for June 1836. The original parish workhouse had been in Moor Lane. Writing in 1851 Andrew Esdaile referred to it as New Street although the 1841 and all subsequent censuses refer to it as Union Street.
Needham Street was the other part of the Baxter and Co development and was clearly named after the family whose land had been acquired for the development. It always had the dead end.
Fairfield Street was named after the close where a Fair used to be held; in directories prior to 1864 it was Fair Close. Fair Close is mentioned in directories between 1828 and 1893; in 1844 it was Fairclose Lane and in 1822 Fairclose Row had one mention - Robert Wilson, flour dealer and miller (possibly this was what became Mill Lane). Fairfield Street first appears in directories in 1864. In documents from 1864 for 15 Fairfield Street the property is described as being on ‘Pond Street otherwise Fairfield Street’. There was a significant sized pond part way along the road, about where the house Pondville is now. The next mention of Pond Street is not until the 1889 directory and with only one entry (William Brown, butter huckster and carrier); in the same directory Fairfield Street has 11 entries! At some time (Directories for the 1890s) Fairfield Street extended down what is now Kirkhill, as the directories and censuses include names of families known to have lived there - the Wesleyan School and houses for instance. The census returns are more helpful - 1841 and 1851 have Fair Close; 1861 and 1871 Fairfield Street; 1881 Pond Street; 1891 and 1901 Fairfield Street, but including Kirkhill. Thus the commonly held view (as in Wortley) that Pond Street was the earlier name for Fairfield Street is not quite right - it was used for a short time as an alternative.
Kirkhill is a 20th century name - it first appears in the electoral register for 1918; in that of 1915 it was Chapel Lane - this was the description in 1857 of the road forming the eastern boundary of Kirkland House. Chapel Lane now extends from the level crossing to Margidunum roundabout but is also the older road to Newton past Buggins’ Cottage on the Fosse Road. Both Chapel Lane and Kirkhill refer to the site of St Helen’s Chapel thought to be in the area now accessed by School Lane. Kirkland House is on Chapel Close and Kirkhill Close was west of this plot (now the school).
School Lane was previously Mill Lane (a windmill was here) and as described above it might also have been Fairclose Row. Clearly it was renamed for the infants school, but not for a while after that was built. The electoral register refers to Mill Lane until 1915. After that no mention is made of either Mill Lane or School Lane, but the houses there (the two built in 1910 by James Walker on Kirkland House land and Westfield (No 9) built in 1920) seem to have been assigned to Newgate Street. By 1937 the houses in School Lane were being described as in Fairfield Street, and from 1949 School Lane was a subsidiary street included in the register under Fairfield Street. School Lane in its own right, so to speak, did not enter the electoral register until around 1960.
Fisher Lane seems to have been named so for all time - probably after a family called Fisher living in Bingham in the 16th century (1586 estate record). Modern developments along Long Acre have meaningful names too. Linley Court stands on the site of a bungalow once occupied by Mrs Linley after she retired from running the post office, which her family has done since about 1927 first in the Market Place and then on Long Acre. Walker’s Close is on the site of the Walker’s builders’ yard. He built a large number of the Victorian Villas that now grace the town. The Paddock was built on a small-holding owned by Gordon Morley who kept pigs, sheep and chickens and turkeys at Christmas. He was the local dairyman and delivered milk in Bingham for 34 years before retiring. The yard up to the rear entrance to Long Acre House, between Falcon House and Tealby House, was ‘Doncaster’s Yard’ after John Doncaster who built and owned the house (then Providence House) and gave land for the Temperance Hall situated here. It has also been called Temperance Yard.
The street names along Long Acre East also have interesting derivations. Pinfold commemorates where the village pound was erected, for impounding straying cattle. Many local villages (e.g. Flintham) have restored their old pounds but Bingham’s disappeared some long time ago. Dark Lane is one of the oldest lanes and certainly contains some of the oldest hedgerows in Bingham; the evocative name is probably its derivation - try walking along on a moonless night! The rather newer (early 1960s) Perry Grove was named after the then Chairman of the Bingham RDC, Perry Thorpe. No derivation has been found for Raymond Drive.
Cogley Lane was Coggles Lane in papers relating to East Cottage for 1810 and again in 1887, so the modern version may be only a hundred or so years old. The dictionary definition of coggle is to move unsteadily as in "His knees wobbled" or "The old cart wobbled down the street" or “to walk unsteadily”, as of small children. This fits with an explanation that has been offered by one local resident that rests on the Nottinghamshire dialect expression meaning a bumpy or brick strewn lane, which would certainly cause a cart to wobble! Webster’s Dictionary defines it as a cobblestone. Perhaps the cobbles were remains of a paved road serving the abandoned village at Crow Close. Crow Court is an obvious modern reference to Crow Close.
Tithby Road has a clear derivation in the name of the nearby village towards which it leads. The electoral register of 1931/2 notes a significant number of dwellings; prior to this Mill Hill seemed to be the name used for the road near to Bingham and Tythby Road was then used only for the stretch outside the immediate area of the town . Prior to this it was Mill Hill - for the windmill that stood at the top, just beyond the old railway bridge. The mounded base can still be seen in the copse. The Crofts recalls Doctor Crofts who lived at ‘Wingfield’ on the corner of Tythby Road with Long Acre after he vacated 7 Church Street in 1949, taking the house name with him. Some of that land was used for this development.
The Banks fairly clearly refers to the topography, being at the foot of a bank that was once waste land at the edge of the medieval South Field. Melvyn Drive was named after the son of the developer. Banks Crescent is fairly self explanatory as is Banks Paddock, leading as it does to the rear of the large farmhouse. Beetham Close is named after John Beetham Shaw, the architect who lived at Appletrees, on whose land this small development of bungalows was built in the 1980s. Jebbs Lane is an ancient track and named after a squatter, Jebb, who had a dwelling at the top of the lane on the corner with The Banks.
The first council housing in Bingham was built in 1920 along Tithby Road, Nottingham Road and Stanhope Way. Stanhope was the family name of the Earls of Chesterfield. Opposite is Chestnut Avenue, named possibly for the horse chestnuts that grew in the area (e.g. at the School). Brewsters Close is named after ‘Blind Brewster’ who lived in Long Acre Row, a terrace of cottages demolished in the 1950s slum clearances. He sold haberdashery form a basket he carried around Bingham and the villages. The name was suggested to the Council by John Morley, who knew Brewster well.
The Carnarvon Estate
Street names on the major council house development in Bingham have a variety of derivations. Chesterfield Avenue with Carnarvon Place and Carnarvon Close refer to the successive Earls who owned much of Bingham. Westfield Road sounds as though it is named after a pre-enclosure open field named the West Field, a common enough practice. However, Bingham’s ‘West Field’ was the alternative name for an open field called ‘Brackendale’, the area south of Bingham and largely occupied by the modern farms of that name. Was it a misunderstanding on behalf of those who named the road or was it named after the house (number 9 School Lane) known as Westfield (perhaps with a similar provenance). Seven acres previously attached to that property were sold for building the initial phase of the Carnarvon Estate. It is entirely possible that a field around here had a local name used by the last farmer about which we now know nothing. Queens Court and Edinburgh Drive were completed about 1953 and were named after the then new Queen and her consort. Margaret Place may be for the Queen’s sister. Bishops Road probably recalls the three rectors of Bingham who became Bishops or possibly Bishop Gelsthorpe who was installed as rector of Bingham in 1953.
Newton Avenue and Shelford Drive refer to nearby villages, also owned by the Chesterfield/Carnarvon dynasty. Western Avenue is clearly based on its geographical position but Hill Drive is flat and there is no information! Perhaps it was a builder’s name? Granby Court follows the intermittent use of local village names.
The Gough Cooper Estate
This was a 1950s development and three roads are named after members of local families. Porchester Road uses the courtesy title of the eldest son of the Earls of Carnarvon. Chaworth Road recalls the family who owned Wiverton Hall from the thirteenth to the mid nineteenth centuries. Musters Road is for the family of Colwick Hall whose scion married the Chaworth heiress (she chose him over Lord Byron, her other suitor) and moved to Wiverton at the beginning of the nineteenth century to found the Chaworth-Musters line. There are only four other Musters Roads in the country, all near former Musters’ estates in Nottinghamshire. Continuing the historical families’ connection Rupert Road may well be named after Prince Rupert who was in charge of the cavalry in the Civil War; he relieved Newark on 21 March 1644. He stayed with the Chaworths at Wiverton, a Royalist stronghold until 1645. The Musters had no connection with the civil war.
More prosaically Langar Road and Wiverton Road are for parishes to the south and Spinney Road was probably indicative of the vegetation here before the houses.
Opposite, the modern (1980s) Harvest Close recalls the agricultural merchants (and before them the agricultural engineers) that occupied the site next to the garage. Garden Road was the site of market gardens (there were many in Bingham through the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries) and Orchard Avenue marks the site of only one of Bingham’s many orchards - the town was famous for Victoria Plums).
Church Farm Estate
Rutland Road is named after the local ducal family at Belvoir Castle. Grove Road was a field access track and lined with (a grove) of trees; alternatively it could commemorate Thomas Grove who ran away from Bingham as a young boy and became a Colonel (died 1790). St Mary’s Road and Church Close are clear references to the parish church (of St Mary and All Saints). Butt Road evokes memories of the archery butts that were hereabouts in medieval times (hence Butt Field). One of Bingham’s three manor houses was supposedly near Crow Close, hence Manor Road. Holme Farm and the area around here known as ‘The Holmes’ as far back as 1586 are reflected in Holme Road.
Abbey Road is near the route of an old field access track and is named after the abbey thought to have been in the area - possibly north of the railway line. Alternatively, it lines up with the site of Aslockton Abbey Farm. Prior’s Close is another such reference. Brownes Road is for the farming family at East Grove Farm during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. There is no information for Victoria Road. Nursery Road marks the site of a market garden/nursery that was here before. Carr Road is a reference to the former state of the land - carr is a wetland! There is no informastion for Douglas Road. Banes Road is on land formerly owned by Joe Banes, a small farmer who lodged in Newgate Street.
The Tree Estate
The Tree estate along Grantham Road was developed in the 1950s and the council wished to move away from naming roads after individuals or families. A second consideration was to use familiar names which residents could recognise and remember if asked where such and such a road was. If the name of a tree was mentioned it would have to be on the Tree estate or it did not exist! Thus it would be easy to find.
Names here are: Ash, Beech, Cedar, Elm, Larch, Oak, Maple, Poplar, Rowan, Sycamore, Willow.
The development of the adjoining ‘new tree estate in the 1980s followed the lead of its older neighbour: Aspen, Blackthorn, Hazel, Holly, Juniper
Wynhill (1970s and 1980s)
The area name is taken from an old name for a local topographical feature and can be found on many old maps as the name of some closes after enclosure and may have been the name of a medieval furlong within the open field. It is recalled in Wynhill Court. Harrison Court was named after Ann Harrison (1829-1928), a famous lady of Bingham whose wooden statuette is in the parish church.
Wynhill is a themed estate, along the lines of the Tree Estate. The theme was ‘forests of the UK’ - wooded areas, ancient forests, royal hunting reserves, moorlands etc. Whether these names would have met the criterion of it being easy to associate a new and unfamiliar street name with the theme of the development is perhaps more questionable than with the ‘Tree Estate’. Who would have known that Cropton, Millburn and Stainmore, for instance were names of forests? Clearly the authorities soon ran out of local names to use - Thoresby, Rufford, Welbeck etc and had to range further afield. One can imagine a naming meeting where perhaps the members vied to find ever more esoteric places which their fellow councillors had not heard of! For interest, these are the locations of all the ‘forests’ named at Wynhill, where one of the spine roads is helpfully named Forest Road, just to give you a clue!
Birds and Flowers
More recent developments have been the
‘Bird’ and the ‘Flower’ estates.
The ‘bird’ estate is to the south of Grantham Road. Road names were chosen by the local council with considerable care to avoid giving offence in any way (some bird names can be misinterpreted!) Birds included are:
Nightingale, Goldcrest, Mallard, Swallow, Avocet, Dove, Osprey, Skylark, Sandpiper, Partridge, Kestrel, and Woodpecker.
The flower estate is to the south of Nottingham Road and can be accessed off Tithby Road along Mill Hill Road, a reminder of Mill Hill (the mound on which the mill stood can still be seen in the copse on the corner). The name of the area - Millers Rise - has the same resonance.
Flower names used are:
Bluebell, Betony, Campian, Celandine, Charlock (a weed of the mustard family), Coltsfoot, Cowslip Foxglove, Harebell, Honeysuckle, Mallow (originates from southern Europe and Asia but has spread all over the world as a common weed), Meadowsweet, Primrose, Sorrel, Speedwell, Tansy (perennial herbs from a short, stout rootstock and bear alternate fern-like leaves with saw-toothed margins), Teasel, Trefoil (Bird’s foot trefoil attracts quail, turkey, dove, rabbits, and a host of other wildlife for the forage and seeds that are produced), Valerian (a perennial herb. Its roots are used in tea and medicinal preparations for anxiety and insomnia).