17/11/2017 Share this story Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

The 30 most common street names in England, Scotland and Wales - what do street names tell us?

ddee22c5-3949-482f-aba7-d39445ca8b25

Studying street names can give us vital clues about the history and the religious cultural values of the population over time, a new study released by University of St Andrews had found.

What do street names tell us? An application to Great Britain's Streets by Dr Oto-Peralis is a new study which explores street names in England, Scotland and Wales to extract themes and trends capturing the culture and history of the population.

According to Dr Oto-Peralis, the meanings of street names aren't random but reflect local history and commemorate figures and events deemed important to the local community; ie they can be considered cultural markers of a town and its history.

How the street name researched was carried out

Dr Oto-Peralis explains: 'I collected data on street names from the source OS Open Names (Ordnance Survey), which is a comprehensive database of place names for Great Britain. The dataset contains almost 900,000 named and numbered roads. I selected named roads and removed all the others (including sections of named roads), which renders 788,340 roads (streets). When the street name was provided both in English and Gaelic/Welsh, I always chose English. The word cloud represents the relative importance of the 200 most frequent street names. 

'Table 2 [below] breaks down the list of the most common street names by country, i.e., England, Scotland and Wales. There are remarkable similarities among the street names of the three countries. For instance, “High street”, “Station road” and “Church street” are within the top-4 in the three cases, although there are also some differences. It is interesting to observe that commemorative street names appear to be relatively more important in Scotland than in England.

Thus, the first commemorative street in Scotland (“King street”) occupies position 8th of the ranking while in England it occupies position 23th (“Queen street”). Regarding the average length of street names, it is very similar in the three countries, suggesting again similarities in the system of street names –which, in turn, facilitates a cross-country analysis of them. 

Top 30 most common street names in England, Scotland and Wales

Read the research in full here.

News

17/11/2017 Share this story Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Recent Updates

British Home Children 150th anniversary: commemoration events

The UK and Canada are to remember the children of the British Home Children in a series of linked events to ...


Top baby names in England and Wales 2018 - MOST POPULAR names revealed

The most popular baby names of 2018 have been released by the Office for National Statistics, along with ...


The Society of Genealogists has announced it is to move to NEW premises after 35 years

After two years of 'careful analysis and discussions', the Trustees of the Society of Genealogists have ...


See the historic premises of the UK's first permanent funeral museum

The Grade II listed premises of Frederick W Paine funeral directors at special open days during Heritage Open ...


Other News

Historic merger for two major US genealogy societies

In a historic move, the boards of the National Genealogical Society (NGS) and the Federation of Genealogical ...


Get ready for RootsTech London!

RootsTech is heading from the US to London for the first time this October. Find out more


Genealogy project seeks descendants of Arbroath signatories

Descendants of signatories of the Declaration of Arbroath, which asserted Scottish sovereignty in 1320, are ...


Full-size reconstruction of the 7th-century Sutton Hoo ship to be created through national fundraising campaign

A national fundraising campaign is set to “Make Ship Happen” for a £1 million project to build a full-size ...