diamond geezer

 Saturday, March 09, 2013

One unusual feature of the Central line is the number of stations named after places elsewhere. Here's why and how.

Holland Park: This station is named after Holland Park, a green expanse that was formerly the grounds of Holland House, which used to be a grand Jacobean mansion until most of it was firebombed during the Blitz, and which had started out in 1604 as Cope Castle, but which was renamed Holland House in 1625 when it was inherited by the Earl of Holland’s wife, that's not Holland across the North Sea, that's Holland one of the three medieval subdivisions of Lincolnshire, the southeastern Part whose main towns are Boston and Spalding.
Lancaster Gate: This station is named after an entrance to Kensington Gardens, an entrance which lies adjacent to the Italian Gardens, which were given as a gift by Prince Albert to his beloved Queen Victoria, one of whose titles was Duke of Lancaster, a dukedom first bestowed in 1351, and which survives as Duchy of Lancaster (a portfolio of land and assets held in trust for the sovereign), hence the gate alongside the gardens was named Lancaster Gate in the Queen's honour.
Oxford Circus: This station is named after the junction between Oxford Street and Regent Street, the latter street created by John Nash for the Prince Regent in the 1820s, with Oxford Circus created as a roundabout on Oxford Street, which used to be called Tyburn Road because it led to the gallows at Tyburn, and was renamed in the late 18th century, not because the road goes to Oxford but because the surrounding fields were bought up by the Earl of Oxford, not one of the original earls dating back to 1142, but a dormant peerage revived for the statesman Robert Harley.
Tottenham Court Road: This station is named after the road leading north to Tottenham Court, which was the manor-house of the Manor of Tottenham, first owned by William de Tottenhall during the reign of Henry III, later an Elizabethan mansion of three storeys with two wings which stood in 1½ acres within a moat, patched up several times over the succeeding centuries until it was eventually demolished in 1808, located not in Tottenham as you might expect, but on what is now the corner of Hampstead Road and Euston Road, opposite University College Hospital, roughly where the northern entrance to Euston Square tube station is, which might instead have been named Tottenham Court.
Liverpool Street: This station is named after a minor street alongside the mainline station, a street named after Lord Liverpool, the UK's third longest-serving Prime Minister (1812-1827), whose father appears to have been awarded the title for no geographical reason whatsoever.
Newbury Park: The station is named after an extensive interwar housing estate, itself named after Newbury, one of the 24 demesnes of Barking, a manorial division of land originally owned by Barking Abbey, back in the days when Barking Abbey was really important, the name 'Newbury' being first recorded in 1321 and nothing at all to do with the town in Berkshire.

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