WHAT'S IN A NAME

The Origins of some of Hesters Way's road names

Fiddlers Green and Hesters Way probably originated centuries ago as field names: Fiddlers Green in the GCHQ area and Hesters Way around Ashlands Road area. In those days, names of fields were important for legal reasons, as maps were rarely available. Local historians must have had a hand in naming some of the following roads.

Roads named after local fields include:

Kingsmead Avenue - from Kings Meadow, a field by the Old Gloucester Road.
Redgrove Road - from Redgrove Wood, in Benhall, where Redgrove Park now is.
Ashlands Road - from Ashlands Meadow - a field with ash trees (where Dormer Road now is).
Barbridge Road - from Barbridge Piece, a field by the Bar Bridge on the Old Gloucester Road.
Oldbury Road - from Oldbury Meadow (the field where Waldrist Close now is).
Monks Croft - was an area of fields around the south of Princess Elizabeth Way.
Pilgrove Way - from Pilgrove, a coppiced wood by Old Gloucester Road.

Many roads on the Cavendish Park Estate (Springbank) appear to have been named after fields in Swindon Village. Perhaps any future developments should use some more local field-names - such as Hitchlands, Culverhay, Branchers Close, etc.

Roads named after old Houses include:

Gara Close - from The Gara, still on Village Road.
Springbank Road - from Springbank, the cottage built around 1880 beside a spring, now on the lane signposted to Hope Orchard.
Pheasant Lane -from Pheasant Cottage, a medieval building just over the parish boundary.
Waldrist Close - from a house called Waldrist that stood here until about 1989.
Farm Close - from Hesters Way Farm that stood here until about 1951.
Benhall Gardens - from a smallholding of that name which stood here.
Tanners Lane - appears to have originally been Tanhouse Lane indicating a leatherworks here. The name appears on a map of 1776.

Roads named after local farmers and land owners include:

Welch Road - from the Welches of old Arle House, who from about 1806 - 1945, owned the land on which this road now stands.
Lechmere Road - Sir A. Lechmere was amongst local landowners listed in the 1835 Enclosure Act records. The family were squires at Staverton.
Nunney Close - from the Nunney family who farmed Harthurstfield during this century.
Wasley Road - from Silas John Wasley, market gardener on this site throughout the middle of this century.
Dormer Road - owners of Arle Court in and around 1700.
Lygon Walk - owners of Arle Court in and around 1600.
Grevil Road - owners of Arle Manor in and around 1500, (usually spelt Greville).
Brown Close - after the Browns, farmers of Arle Court and Hesters Way Farm around 1880-1950.
Dowty Road - from Sir George Dowty, owner of the 'new' Arle Court, in Hatherley Lane, from 1935 when he established his factory there.

Acknowledgements

David Edgar, Sheila Forrest, Margery Hyett and Phyllis White for compiling the text.

For Mrs. Hulbert, Mrs. Grace, Mrs. Bendall, the late Mrs. Webb, the late Michael Darvill, Martin Rainscourt and Tony Willis, for giving of their time and memories of Hesters Way, and to all those kind people over the years who have told of cherished memories.

Arle School, Monkscroft, Hesters Way School, Arthur Dye School, St. Thomas More and Pates Grammar School for information and/or photos.

Chris Green of Hesters Way Neighbourhood Project for editing, design and pre-press production.

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