You may like these horrible histories behind the names of London boroughs. Fascinating. We live in deep historical places kids. We have had Saxons, Celts, Vikings, Romans, Normans and some Picts as well. This was a violent place. Harrow and Stanmore. Absolutely full of warfare but also long periods of peace. Fascinating.
You have been to the museum of London. Remember this?
How The London Boroughs Got Their Names
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.
Barking and Dagenham
Barking is an ancient, Anglo-Saxon phrase, first recorded as Berecingas. The name either derives from a local chieftan called Bereca or means “the settlement by the birch trees”. Dagenham is also ancient, first recorded as Dæccanhaam in 666 AD. ‘Haam’ means ‘home’ or ‘homestead’ and Dæcca was presumably a local land-owner or leader.