Road names in Tachbrook

March 2010

Stephen Baldwin wrote this interesting article on the origin of some the street names in Bishops Tachbrook and how new ones are given. The article is copied below.

From March 2010 PM Author Stephen Baldwin

In general roads are named by one of two processes. Originally, as villages expanded, simply by the addition of one or two extra houses here and there, roads “acquired” their names, often as a result of their purpose. For instance, the path to the church, probably the community’s oldest building, became Church Lane. Many of England’s towns and cities have a London Road. In Bishop’s Tachbrook, Oakley Wood Road serves an obvious purpose. However, one Warwickshire village, Preston-on-Stour, still gets by today without any street names at all; all of the houses are simply numbered.

Nowadays, additions to towns and villages are more planned and so road names are now “assigned”.  The process usually involves the developer, especially where there are many streets, and the neighbourhood council – in our case Bishop’s Tachbrook Parish Council. They will be invited to make suggestions about possible names, or perhaps themes for names. These will then go forward to the local authority (Warwick District Council) and the Post Office for approval. In some cases the wishes of former landowner(s) may be taken in to account.  There is an area in Lillington where a group of streets are all Scottish place names. This was a requirement, put in to the deed of sale, by the landowner.

In the 1970s and 80s the north western part of the village was developed in to a housing area and the Parish Council were invited to suggest names for the roads. At that time, several other local councils were in the habit of naming roads after parish councillors many of them then (and still) in office. BTPC decided not to go down this invidious route and instead decided to try to find some former village names to use.  Cllrs. Ian Stevens and Les Thacker were thus dispatched to the Warwickshire County Records Office to do some necessary research.

The Tithe Apportionment Map of 1834 proved to be a useful source of names. This map was used to determine contributions to local funds based on land ownership; a forerunner of the local rates which preceded the community charge and the council tax. Each field within the parish was marked and showed the owner and/or tenant, its area and value.  

Each field was also named, often as a close – a reminder of the closure acts that had created the fields and their boundaries.  One such was Dunstall Close, which was converted in to Dunstall Cresent for the street name. Another name from the map was Overberry Orchard, which was on the site of the present Croft Close.  When this was presented to WDC for approval they expressed concern about the size of the street name signs that they would have to purchase for such a long name!  However, it was pointed out that the very short Farm Walk was also in the package and so a trade-off was agreed.

On a hill to the north of the village there had been a windmill; the site is still marked on the OS maps of today. The Post Office exercised its right to say a firm “No!” to any idea of Mill Close, Mill Gardens, or similar, on the grounds that the district already had enough “Mill” road names. So the road to remember the old site became Millway Drive.

As can be readily seen from the photographs in the village history book the area now occupied by the village green was once a farm yard. At the side of the farm was a footpath which lead out to The Ash Path which followed the route of the present footpath W 105.  This was the route that villagers took, via The Asps, to dances in Warwick. This path was the source of the present name Farm Walk.

In future issues of the magazine details will be given about the sources of other road names within the village.

I am most grateful to Ian Stevens for his invaluable help in preparing this article.

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