Sunday, 12 May 2013

Shropshire Place Names

An excerpt from my book and the entry looking at one of Shropshire’s best-known landmarks – Clee Hill.

Whilst it may seem otherwise, this refers to the village and not the hill itself. The hill name describes the shape of 'ball-shaped or rounded hill'. On the western slope is a road leading around an area of woodland, the conifers playing host to the red squirrel for as long as anyone could remember is today only marked by Squirrel Lane.

The Golden Cross seems to have no etymology associating it with the place, indeed no pub of this name can be explained fully. The cross, despite the temptation to suggest otherwise, does not normally have any religious connection but normally refers to a marker post or maybe a crossroads. It seems the 'golden' addition was only to make it sound more grand because of its humble beginnings.

The other pub in the village has a known etymology and a surprisingly recent one. The Kremlin Inn is the highest pub in the county of Shropshire, indeed it is said to be the highest point between her and a direct line to the Urals. This pub had always been known as the Craven Arms until the early 1970's. In those days licensing laws were different and pubs routinely closed at 2:30pm until the evening session. To encourage patrons to leave promptly after the ten minute 'drinking up' period, the juke box was switched normally off. However as the last '45' finished the (then) large box of equipment started to pick up and emit the sounds of Radio Moscow. Shortly afterwards the place changed its name although there is still little to associate the place with the former Soviet Union.

I would welcome any suggestions for themes or subjects, or even specific words to examine the origins, meanings and etymologies. I’d be delighted to hear from you.

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