Bookish conversation with author Samantha Wilcoxson.
You can also find me on my blog.
Fifty years ago today, the London Government Act 1963 received Royal Assent. It paved the way, two years later, for radical changes in London’s political boundaries. The 32 boroughs that we still know, love and pay our council tax to, were created. (The tiny City of London — also known as the Square Mile — holds different political status to the 32 boroughs, and carried on as normal after the Act.)
Many former boroughs (Finsbury and St Pancras, for example) disappeared overnight, though you can still see their names on old street signs around town. The new, bigger, amalgamated boroughs needed new names. In most cases, ancient appellations were chosen. So here’s our guide to the etymology of London’s boroughs. Find out which areas are named after sheep, chalk, crocuses…and a hill in Yorkshire.
For detail on the historical sources of the boroughs' names, click here for complete Londonist article.