Toponymy of London

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toponomy/toponymy: the branch of lexicology that studies the place names of a region or a language / the nomenclature of regional anatomy. the scientific study of place-names (toponyms), their origins, meanings, use and typology. The first part of the word is derived from the Greek tópos (τόπος), place; followed by ónoma (ὄνομα), meaning name. It is itself a branch of onomastics, the study of names of all kinds. A toponym is a name of a locality, region, or some other part of Earth's surface, including natural features (such as streams) and artificial ones (such as cities).

Lets talk about east london...

Dalston Kingsland

The small villages of Kingsland, Dalston, Newington and Shacklewell


Dalston, in 1294 Derleston, probably derived from Dedrlaf's tun or farm. A small hamlet half way along Dalston Lane in the mid 18th century, it came to denote the built-up area east of the high road. The area under discussion extends west from London Fields and the edge of Hackney village to Kingsland Road and Kingsland green, where the parish boundary diverged from the road,and north from the Shoreditch boundary across Dalston Lane to Downs Park Road. Dalston Lane, the only road from Kingsland to Hackney village until the 19th century, was not described as a street. The stretch nearest Kingsland Road was an easterly continuation of Ball's Pond Road and had strips of waste,.largely built upon by 1831, which were later sometimes called Dalston green. Dalston hamlet lay east of the dog-leg which the lane followed presumably to keep its distance from the broadening Pigwell brook before crossing Hackney brook at Dalston bridge. For assessments in the 16th and 17th centuries the hamlet was normally included with Newington, Shacklewell, and Kingsland, all four of them together about as populous as Hackney village.

Kingsland had the leper hospital south of the green.

Dalston in 1745 was a group of buildings mostly on the north side of Dalston Lane, at the turning of a way towards Shacklewell called Love Lane in 1831 (later Norfolk and from 1938 Cecilia Road); a few stood opposite the junction, while the Red Cow was on the north side nearer the bridge

Dalston: Area in the eastern borough of Hackney in London, England, lying southwest of Hackney Downs and centred on the ancient (originally Roman) thoroughfare of Kingsland Road, which cuts straight through the borough of Hackney. Like much of Hackney, Dalston is largely residential, and characterized by a vibrant, eclectic, and multicultural environment.

Until the mid-19th century, Dalston was still largely rural, but around the 1830s the principal landowners of the area began selling plots of land to developers, gradually creating the Victorian suburb that is still evident today. Places of interest include the award-winning New Bradbury Centre (1999), a community-based business centre that incorporates a jazz bar and was designed by Hawkins Brown Architects; the Art Deco Rio Cinema (1910); several examples of experimental postwar public housing, such as the award-winning Somerford Estate (1946-49); and Dalston's impressive St Mark's Church (1870), the largest parish church in London. The area has many contrasts - from the bustle of Ridley Road Market to the leafy tranquillity of Albion Square, a picturesque Italianate development dating from 1846-49.

The name Dalston is Anglo-Saxon in origin and derived from Deorlafs's farm (‘tun’) on the banks of the Hackney Brook; by 1300, it had become a hamlet known as Derleston.

Stoke Newington

Stoke Newington or 'new town in the woods


  • Billingshurst:a village, a parish, and a subdistrict in Petworth district, Sussex. The village stands on the Roman Stane-street, adjacent to the Mid-Sussex railway, near the Arun and Wye canal, 7 miles SW of Horsham; and has a station on the railway, a post office‡ under Horsham, and fairs on Whit-Monday and 8 Nov. It probably got its name from being a settlement of the great Saxon tribe of Billing.
  • Hurst: Origin - english, Meaning - Lives in the forest.


In the 12th century, the Spitalfields area became the site of the Priory of St Mary's Spital. (Spital was a medieval abbreviation of hospital). The hospital, founded in 1197, was the largest in London. Set among fields on the edge of the City, it provided shelter to travellers, hence "Spital fields".

Brick Lane's name came from early use of the land – it was dug for brick earth. Daniel Defoe writes of a track, deeply rutted by carts, bringing bricks from brickworks at the north end of the lane, to rebuild the city after the Great Fire of 1666. The quality of the brick earth here had been recognised by the Romans, who dug extensively.