Street name derivations

Hanover Crescent, named for the Royal house of Hanover
Photo by Tony Mould

Please note that this text is an extract from a reference work written in 1990.  As a result, some of the content may not reflect recent research, changes and events.

e) STREET NAME DERIVATIONS: An explanation of the source of Brighton’s street names merits a separate work. However, many may be classified into broad groups, including the following commemorative street names:

Royal forenames: Albert, Alexandra, Alfred, Charles, Charlotte, Edward, Frederick, George, Leopold, Victoria, William.

Royal dukes: Cambridge, Clarence, Cumberland, Gloucester, Sussex, York.

Royal houses: Brunswick, Hanover.

Royal residences: Carlton, Kensington, Kew, St James’s, Windsor.

Dukes: Argyle, Beaufort, Bedford, Buckingham, Devonshire, Grafton, Hamilton, Manchester, Norfolk, Portland, Richmond, Somerset, Sutherland, Wellington.

Marquesses: Bath, Bristol, Bute, Exeter, Hartington, Lorne, Queensbury.

Earls: Burlington, Camden, Chatham, Chichester, Clarendon, Coventry, Egremont, Essex, Guildford, Jersey, Leicester, Liverpool, Mayo, Oxford, Powis, Shaftesbury.

Viscounts: Hereford, Sydney, Wentworth.

Barons: Chesham, Holland, Southampton, Sudeley, Tichborne, Vernon.

Peer’s family surnames: Campbell, Cavendish, Compton, Grenville, Grosvenor, Hervey, Howard, Lennox, Montague, Pelham, Russell (Square), Seymour, Stanley, Wyndham.

Prime ministers: Balfour, Beaconsfield, Canning, Gladstone, Liverpool, Melbourne, Peel, Russell (Crescent), Walpole, Wellington.

United States presidents: Grant, Jackson, Lincoln, Washington.

Boer War soldiers and locations: Baden, Buller, Kimberley, Ladysmith, Mafeking, Milner, Natal, (Sir) Redvers (Buller).

Philosophers, theologians, etc: Arnold, Baxter, Bentham, Carlyle, Cobden, Cromwell, Hampden, Howard, Luther, Lynton, Milton.

Honorary freemen and women: Beatty, Carden, Churchill, Haig, Saunders, Stringer, Wolseley.

Mayors: Abbey, Aldrich, Beal, Blaker, Braybon, Brigden, Carden, Colbourne, Davey, Ewart, Galliers, Hallett, Lucraft, Pankhurst, Sadler, Southall, Stringer, Thompson.

Local landowners: Curwen, Goldsmid, Harrington, Mighell, Nevill, Stanford, Tidy, Western, Whichelo.

Topographical names are also very popular, and Sussex localities are particularly in evidence on the corporation’s housing estates. Other topographical names include:

Isle of Wight: Bembridge, Bonchurch, Brading, Carisbrooke, St Helen’s, Sandown, Shanklin, Totland, Whippingham.

Abbeys: Fountains, Hinton, Melrose, Romsey.

Castles: Auckland, Bamford, Bodiam, Durham, Hornby, Kenilworth, Knepp, Leybourne, Ludlow, Norwich, Taunton, Walmer.

Canadian cities: Montreal, Toronto, Quebec.

Towns of Kent: Ashford, Dover, Hythe, Sandgate.

Any numerical cross-references in the text above refer to resources in the Sources and Bibliography section of the Encyclopaedia of Brighton by Tim Carder.

Comments about this page

  • Hangleton, Sussex villages!Amberley (Drive)
    Midhurst (Walk)
    Bramber (Ave)
    Beeding (Ave)
    Clayton (Way)
    Stennying (Close)
    Burwash (Road)
    Nutley (Close)
    Findon (Close)
    Probably missed a few!
    Or Goldsmid, Sussex Hills
    Cissbury (Road) Where I live!
    Chantonbury (Road)
    Caburn (Road)
    Wostonbury (Road)

    By Peter Groves (25/12/2007)
  • You missed Poynings (Drive) – I used to live there! There’s also Henfield (Way), and Northease (Drive).

    By Paul Robinson (03/01/2008)
  • Any idea where Coleman Street in Hanover (built 1860’ish) and Osborne Road off Preston Drove (1900s) get their names?

    By Andrew (28/01/2008)
  • Where’s Hervey Road?

    By Maureen Doughty (22/10/2010)
  • Any idea about Egremont Place? I’m from a small town in Cumbria from which, I’m sure, the name originates. It would be interesting to know if someone from my town ventured to Brighton all those years ago.

    By Emma (05/02/2013)
  • Emma, Egremont Place is named after the Duke of Egremont, who had his racing paddock there, you can find out a little about it here:

    More info will be generally available if you search him on the net!

    By Peter Groves (05/02/2013)
  • The Earls of Egremont had a large part of their wealth from the huge haemetite iron deposits in the Egremont area of Cumbria, the last working deep iron ore mine in western Europe until its closure in 2008. The Egremonts southern base was – and is – Petworth House in West Sussex; like many of the county aristocracy they lived far from the wealth creating area! Earls of Ashburnham owned Monmouthshire, Dukes of Norfolk owned large bits of Sheffield and Marquis of Abergavenny big bits of the S.Wales coal and iron fields

    By Geoffrey Mead (07/02/2013)
  • Hi Peter I see you have listed Nutley (Close) as being derived from the Sussex Village of Nutley. However, my Nutley ancestors have lived in Brighton as far back as 1768 so I was rather hoping that Nutley Close along with Nutley Avenue Crescent and Drive had something to do with my family. Do you know if there are any records showing how these roads got their names? I would be pleased to hear from you or anyone with any further information –

    By Stephen Nutley (10/08/2013)
  • Most if not all of the streets in the north of West Blatchington (Hangleton as most of us call it) that were built late 1940’s are named after Sussex villages; Amberley (Drive) Calton (Way) Bramber (Ave)

    By Peter Groves (11/08/2013)
  • All over B&H both councils used Sussex parish names for the streets developing post WWII. I live in Hollingbury and although the street plan was tentatively planned prewar [as a Braybon devt] the postwar council devt employed new names. My street Hartfield Avenue named from the Ashdown Forest parish, was initially named Fairfield Avenue on a 1945 Brighton street map. This linked it to the roads planned and built in 1938 – the neighbouring Eastfield, Westfield and Northfield. Virtually all the roads in the postwar estate are parish names [Buxted, Rotherfield, Lyminster etc]. It is more likely[but not set in stone] that the Nutley surname indicates an origin to a village of that name; the East Sussex village on the edge of Ashdown Forest could be one such origin, although there is another Nutley near Basingstoke, Hampshire.

    By Geoffrey Mead (12/08/2013)
  • Hi Stephen, The naming of roads on a particular estate was often undertaken by using a theme and the clue to the naming of Nutley Close, Hangleton and Nutley Avenue, Rottingdean, is from the surrounding roads – all named after places in Sussex. Regards, Andy

    By Andy Grant (12/08/2013)
  • I was thinking about the role of street names of a London origin in Brighton e.g. Baker Street, Oxford Street, etc. Peter Groves, or indeed anyone, do you have any more information on this?

    By Kasia Tee (07/10/2014)
  • Hi Kasia. The naming was possibly derived as an association with the fact that they ran off London Road. However, the earliest such named road I can think of off hand, was Bond Street, but this was most unlikely to be connected with the naming of those you mention. At the end of the day, your guess is as good as anyone else’s, as no definite theme or pattern is evident.  Regards, Andy

    By Andy Grant (09/10/2014)
  • Andy, my grandfather had a business in Bond St and as far as I know the original name of New Street from the 1780s was changed when New Road was opened 1806[?] adjacent. I think a Mr Bond was a builder/developer?

    By Geoffrey Mead (13/10/2014)
  • Hi Geoff, I have never come across any evidence that intimates that there was a builder or developer of the name of Mr. Bond operating in Brighton at that time. The renaming of New Street, as you correctly observe, took place when the Prince extended the pavilion grounds over East Street and resulted in the building of New Road around 1805/6, although some were still referring to New Street as late as 1809. As New Street was almost completely displaced by the New Road, it was this that led to the renaming to Bond Street. The land was owned by John & Thomas Furner and the building work was carried out by soldiers under the supervision of William Porden. I have no idea why the name Bond Street was chosen as any evidence has been lost in time. Regards, Andy

    By Andy Grant (14/10/2014)
  • Does anyone know why some of the roads in Hanover are named after cities in Canada? 

    By Kay (24/07/2016)
  • I think its because the independent provinces of Canada were established in 1867, and that is about the date those streets were built. I used to live in Scotland Street, I have no idea why that was so named?? 

    By Peter Groves (24/07/2016)
  • Other than the fact that the Canadian names make a small group developed at the same time and probably by the same developer I cannot say why those cities names were chosen; however as an aside my relatives through marriage lived all round that area in Islingword Rd and Whichelo Place. Quebec street was ALWAYS called Kweeebec Street by old nanny Burton! a proper Brighton ‘native’.

    By Geoffrey Mead (25/07/2016)
  • Streets were often named at the whim of the owner, developer or builder, usually picking up on some fashionable, topical event being reported in the newspapers. In this instance it might have been related to an uprising of Fenians in Toronto, Montreal and Quebec at that time. Fenian vessels from Maine, armed with howitzers and 20 pounders, were at that time threatening the New Brunswick border towns, necessitating interception by British gunboats. Regards, Andy

    By Andy Grant (26/07/2016)
  • Any idea where the Westbourne area derives its name? We have gardens, street and villa, all in one area off Portland Road.

    By Janette Eddisford (25/06/2017)
  • The Westbourne area derives from an old ditch/small stream which once formed the parish boundary between Hove and Aldrington.

    By Simon Carey (25/06/2017)
  • Judy Middleton’s ‘Encyclopedia of Hove’ will have the definitive answer but as I recall it the area had a stream -‘The West Bourne’ -which flowed through it.

    By Geoffrey Mead (26/06/2017)
  • Does any one know the history behind the Quebec Workshops at 31 Quebec Street? Was it a stables?

    By Luke (27/10/2017)

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