April 22nd, 2018


You Can Take the Girl Out of Yate...

I have long associated a certain kind of market hall - usually dating from the 17th or 18th century, and with an open, pillared area beneath the first floor - with the Cotswolds. It's certainly rich in them, as here in Dursley, for example:


Or here in Chipping Campden:


There are also fine examples in Tetbury and Minchampton, and perhaps other places too.

What about outside the Cotswolds, though? I know there's a similar structure in Faversham, but apart from that is it a Cotswold thing?

On a similar note (and if you saw me ask this question on FB recently please walk on by), are you aware of any UK placename that uses the suffix "mead" or "meade", outside Devon, Dorset, Hampshire, Wiltshire, Somerset and Gloucestershire? It has to be a name of long standing, not one invented by a planning committee in recent decades (cf. Thamesmead). I'm aware of Runnymede.

As you might possibly have guessed, my Cotswold project has taken a slight Harry Potter detour. I visited Dursley "to see what was wrong with it" a few years ago, as you may possible recall from these pages (although I can't find the entry right now), and more recently I've taken the obvious next step and looked up the surname distribution. Since the surname "Dursley" derives from the town "Dursley", you won't be surprised to see that the main hot spot is Gloucestershire:

dursley distribution 1998
Dursley Distribution, 1998

JKR was born in Yate (19 miles from Dursley) and grew up in Tutshill (27 miles from Dursley). Coincidence???