England’s weird place names

England has some of the weirdest place names. Until recently, my favourite was Dial Post. Yes, there really is a place called Dial Post, and anyone familiar with the A24 south of Horsham will have seen the signs.

image from Google Streetview (not taken whilst driving)

Someone I knew at school came from a place with the glorious name of Kingston Bagpuise. The name, like so many weird English place names, is a corruption of the French. Just like Biggleswade is a corruption of the more exotic Old German.

But my favourite so far has to be this one from the Cotswolds. Outdone by Lower Slaughter (probable inspiration for The Hobbit), Stow-on-the-Wold (famous for a battle in the English Civil War) and Cirencester (apparently pronounced “siesta” by locals), we found this on a signpost.

Image from Google Streetview (not taken whilst driving)

Guiting Power. Is that a Chinese energy company? No it’s the real name of a real village, which has had a small population for over 1000 years. The name is derived from Saxon, or Old French, or both. We haven’t found out how to pronounce it yet.

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