British Placename Mapper
April 3, 2024 5:02 AM   Subscribe

British Placename Mapper
A web app that lets you search for British place names that match certain queries (eg. starts with 'great', ends with 'burgh', contains 'sea') and show them on an interactive map. Fascinating patterns start to emerge, and you can even share links to your favourite configurations.
Role: Creator (idea, software development)
posted by robintw (8 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

Very fun! I tried the synesthetically aligned 'red', 'green' and 'blue'... blue is definitely the rarest!
posted by thandal at 3:27 PM on April 3

This is great. Surprised to see two places called "Butterwick" fairly close to one another.
posted by Zumbador at 7:49 AM on April 4

I was surprised to find three places called Pentrebach and three more called Pentre-Bach! This is a lot of fun.
posted by moonmilk at 4:18 AM on April 8

Wow, this is great!

One of the first things I typed into this was an interesting string that features in several local placenames around where I grew up. I assumed that it would pop up several hundred examples, mostly towards the north and west, as I believe it's ultimately a term of Norse origin, and I assumed it was fairly common. We certainly had a lot of Vikings around that area at one point, and their influence shows up on our maps. But it turns out that there are only *five* places with this particular string of characters in them in the whole of the UK - three of them within a couple of miles of where I'm from. The one near Worcester doesn't look like it's related etymologically to the others, which makes me wonder what the connection is between northern Kent and the odd little Yorkshire valley I live in.

The term in question is "thong". In one small area there is a "Thongsbridge", an "Upperthong" and a "Netherthong"; presumably you can understand why I immediately searched for this term. These aren't even the funniest placenames between Leeds and Sheffield, by the way...

Anyway, thanks robintw, this is really cool and interesting!
posted by tomsk at 2:34 PM on April 10 [1 favorite]

There are cocks everywhere. (I'm paradoxically so sorry and also not at all)
posted by Literaryhero at 7:32 AM on April 12 [1 favorite]

I love this! Thanks for making it. I also looked for "cock" before opening this thread...
posted by Shepherd at 5:31 PM on April 13 [1 favorite]

This is neat, thanks for making it.
Wow there's a lot of itch names, I hail from one of the Titch names, which makes me wonder if their is a meaningful link with the nearby Itchen ... "Itchen" and "Titchfield" occur together a lot so maybe. Thanks again for a new way to find odd rabbit holes.
posted by unearthed at 12:28 AM on April 21

[This post has found a place on the sidebar and Best Of blog! ]
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:38 AM on April 24

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