How much do you really know about the street you live in?

How much do you really know about the street you live in?

How much do you really know about the street you live in?

How much do you really know about the street you live in?

How much do you really know about the street you live in?

First published in News by

They are part of our identities and our connection to the outside world, and the right or wrong name can add or take away thousands of pounds from the value of your home.

But how much do we know about the reasons behind these names, what they represent and how much thought do we give to a name?

There is as much history to be uncovered from the name itself as there is from digging deep beneath the road.

More than 3,000 years of human history lies beneath Palmeira Square alone.

It was previously the much less glamorous Coneyburrow and stands on the site of a Bronze Age tomb.

The tomb was uncovered in 1856 during the construction of a house in Palmeira Avenue and it established that people had been calling Hove home for more than 3,500 years.

It is also thought that this burial ground gives Hove its name, coming from the Danish word Hof – meaning burial ground.

Inside the mound, archaeologists uncovered an oak coffin carved from a single tree trunk with bone fragments, a dagger, a whetstone and an axe head inside as well as the precious Amber Cup which is considered to be one of Britain’s most important Bronze Age finds, now in Hove Museum.

The square’s renaming to the rather more exotic Palmeira is thanks to one rich man.

The Hove area of Goldsmid is named after financier and philanthropist Sir Isaac Goldsmid and the areas of Palmeira Avenue, Square, Mansions and The Palmeira pub were also named after him.

Sir Isaac was made Baron De Palmeria by the Portuguese Government after assisting in a financial dispute.

Somerhill Road and Nizells Avenue also owe their names to property owned by Sir Isaac.

The tradition has continued even into the modern era with Hove businessman Robbie Raggio who had a slipway built for his car wash next to Hove Station and named it Robbie’s Approach.

He said: “First of all it was just a fun thing to do but I guess it’s become more serious now because it is something that will be there forever.

“Having the road named didn’t cost me anything at all, just the cost of the sign, although the road cost me about £20,000.

“If you look around the area you have all these streets and houses named after famous people and I just wanted one of an ordinary guy, just a car washer, somebody who came from Moulsecoomb who has done something differently.

“It’s nice to think that someone one day will ask why this place is called Robbie’s Approach.”

While landowners can leave their mark in a positive manner, one cantankerous landlord did his best to bury the history of one area of Hove. Goldstone Villas, Crescent and Road, as well as the Goldstone Ground which served as Brighton and Hove Albion’s home for almost a century, are all linked, unsurprisingly, to the famed Goldstone, which now sits proudly in Hove Park.

The stone used to stand further south of Old Shoreham Road but a mean-spirited farmer called Mr Rigden, tired of local visitors wishing to see the landmark, buried it in 1833.

It lay undiscovered for almost 70 years before it was unearthed by Hove commissioner William Hollamby in 1900 and moved it to the newly-opened Hove Park in 1906.

Despite his unsociable act, Mr Rigden has been remembered through the centuries by Rigden Road.

Mukesh Limbachia has lived in Goldstone Crescent since he was 14, and used to attend the nearby Blatchington Mill School.

The 33-year-old went to the Goldstone Ground to watch the Albion and became a fan.

He said: “I follow the Albion. I watch them a bit.

“No one even talks about the meaning of the Goldstone. I think it is quite mythological in a sense, a bit like the story of Devil’s Dyke with the devil carving a valley outside Brighton.”

For a number of closely gathered streets in Hove, the influence of the richest landowners of them all is apparent.

Many of the roads around Toads Hole Valley were given Royal names, including King George VI Avenue, Sandringham Drive, Queen Victoria Avenue and Charles Close.

The streets were part of a development in the 1950s by the Cook family, renowned locally for their sturdy house designs.

But residents said the roads did not live up to their regal titles in the early days, while some question whether they even do today.

Carole Ralston lives in Sandringham Drive, named after The Queen’s retreat in Norfolk.

She remembers when the road was a dirt track.

She said: “I have lived here for more than 50 years. The roads were just tracks then and not even made up.

“I don’t know who decided to name it Sandringham. We’ve never thought about it, really. We don’t consider ourselves to be regal.”

Another resident, who asked not to be named, said: “As a young girl I used to visit someone up here when I was 18. It was different then.

“I have visited Sandringham before I even lived up here but it’s not like this at all.

“I can’t see any connection with royalty in this area.”

Another resident added: “I think it is only royal by name.”

Another street with a distinguished past is Wilfrid Road, whose residents can probably feel more proudly connected to their county than most as they live in the road named after the Sussex saint, St Wilfrid.

St Wilfrid, or plain Wilfrid, as he was known then, converted Sussex, “the last vestige of Paganism”, to Christianity in the seventh century.

But not before being nearly killed by Sussex natives, before he had even arrived by boat.

Residents living in the street said his saintly presence would not go amiss in this day and age as well.

Alan Blythe, 37, whose son lives in Wilfrid Road, said: “I would not go as far as saying it is a saintly road. Gone are the days when we had to go to church. I gather it was quite a rough area. It seems a lot better now. And as far as I’m concerned, this is like living in the countryside.”

Gareth Bull has lived in Wilfrid Road for almost his entire life but has never heard of the connection.

The 31-year-old said: “I don’t think anyone around here would have known that this road was named after St Wilfrid.

“It has improved a lot. You used to get hooligans around here but they have grown up now. That has passed.

“People started buying their own homes from the council.”

While many roads point to grand landowners or saints, the history of the humble working man has also been preserved across the city.

There are many street names that relate to an agricultural past, such as Cowden, Foredown and Broad Rig Avenue, which named after a prehistoric word for a cultivated strip in an open field.

Lynchets Crescent is named after a ridge formed by ploughing on a slope.

Upper Market Street and Lower Market Street refer to the large market, now known as The Old Market, which serviced Brunswick Town in the 1820s.

That building later became a riding stable before the arts venue it is today.

Richard Swingle, 30, moved to Upper Market Street two months ago.

He said: “I knew it used to be a market but I hadn’t realised it was then used as a stable.

“It doesn’t come as a surprise considering the layout of the streets nearby, which does feel quite unique. There is definitely a horsey feel to the place.

“The neighbourhood is great and has its own sense of community. You could say it feels like a little hidden gem in town.”

He added: “My flat does feel like it has some history to it but being a basement flat I expect it was converted a lot more recently than when the original occupants would have made use of the market. The age of the area was a bonus but it wasn’t part of my original search criteria.

“I knew very little about the traditions or local community vibe at first but it’s certainly making me want to stick around.”

Comments (3)

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12:54pm Thu 12 Jun 14

sad-old-git says...

The article says that the area to the NE of Hove park is not regal. Why? I believe the land involved was owned by the Marquess of Abergavenny & his forefathers. If fact the land was owned by the family during the reign of Henry VIII, except for a short period while the owner was in the tower of london & the land was confiscated by the King. No royal connection then.
By the way the Marquess of Abergavenny family name is Nevill, another area of Hove.
The article says that the area to the NE of Hove park is not regal. Why? I believe the land involved was owned by the Marquess of Abergavenny & his forefathers. If fact the land was owned by the family during the reign of Henry VIII, except for a short period while the owner was in the tower of london & the land was confiscated by the King. No royal connection then. By the way the Marquess of Abergavenny family name is Nevill, another area of Hove. sad-old-git
  • Score: 2

7:09pm Thu 12 Jun 14

BigSiB says...

What an awesome article. I never knew half this stuff about our city and fair play to Robbie Raggio for carrying on the proud tradition. I think the guy should be admired for what he's done for himself, his family and charity. He deserves his own road.
What an awesome article. I never knew half this stuff about our city and fair play to Robbie Raggio for carrying on the proud tradition. I think the guy should be admired for what he's done for himself, his family and charity. He deserves his own road. BigSiB
  • Score: 0

7:15pm Thu 12 Jun 14

Fbarnes77 says...

Glad to see Robbie's approach get a mention. Nothing short of what Mr raggio deserves as an extremely hard working businessman and nice down to earth guy. Well done Robbie
Glad to see Robbie's approach get a mention. Nothing short of what Mr raggio deserves as an extremely hard working businessman and nice down to earth guy. Well done Robbie Fbarnes77
  • Score: 0

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