Many streets in Royal Windsor (plus Eton, Clewer and Dedworth) have names with quite a bit of history to them. I was fascinated by the origins of some of the strange names I saw in town and so I began to research their history and meanings.
Arthur Road is simply named after the Prince Arthur. There are plenty of Windsor street names that refer to royalty for obvious reasons. The Prince Arthur pub has some lovely green tiles on the doorway.
Sir Francis Tress Barry, 1st Baronet (1825 – 28 February 1907) made his fortune from a copper mine in Portugal. He lived on St Leonard’s Hill and was MP for Windsor from 1890 to 1906.
It is appropriate that opposite the Bexley Arms is the Vansittart Pub. Both of these and the streets that bear their names relate to The Vansittart family (Nicholas Vansittart, 1st Baron Bexley was one of the longest-serving Chancellors of the Exchequer in history).
Haven’t found out anything about this street name yet.
There is a tantalising reference to Captain Bulkeley being unfortunately absent due to ill health at the opening of the Royal Albert Institute in Sheet Street on 10th January 1880. He was a comittee member who raised the subscription for the founding of the Institute. 38 years earlier a Captain Bulkeley paid £25 toward the new Garrison Church in Trinity Place. Best of all Captain Bulkeley of Clewer Lodge, Windsor is listed in 1861 as being on the board of directors of the Great Western Railway.
Sidney Camm was born in a small house in Alma Road. He went on to become an aeroplane designer and was the man who designed the Hawker Hurricane. The hurricane by the river at the end of Barry Avenue is a good memorial to him and worth coming to see.
The big board upstairs at the Guildhall shows that Sir William Carter was elected Mayor of Windsor thirteen times. he got his knighthood in 1920.
Simply named after the Duke of Clarence who later became King William IV (and is also commemorated in the name ‘William Street’). Lots of Windsor street names refer to royalty. Clarence Crescent was built by James Thomas Bedborough who also did lots of rebuilding of the Castle in the 1820s and built Upton Park near Slough. He was a Mayor of Windsor and his commemoration stone is around the back of the Parish Church on St Alban’s Street.
Clewer is the old name for the whole area. It predates ‘Windsor’ and Clewer church is the oldest building in town. In fact the Monarch used to pay rent to Clewer church for the use of the land where Windsor Castle stands. The name Clewer is probably of Saxon origin and means cliffs or cliff dwellers. If you imagine the days before the castle and trees were there, then from the river, the most impressive and memorable aspect of the area would be the big chalk cliff rising up from the flood plain.
Unsure about this one at the moment. Possibly a reference to Princess Dagmar of Denmark but I can’t see why. As soon as I get new info I will update this page.
The road is named after the village of course, but did you know the name Dedworth has Saxon origins. It comes from “Dydda’s Worthy” meaning Dydda’s Farm. According to David Nash Ford’s Royal Berkshire History By 1800, there were only thirteen dwellings in Dedworth. How times change.
Sir Joseph Devereaux was Mayor of Windsor in the 1880s.
Filmer was one of the Windsor Martyrs, burned to death in 1543.
Gallys was Mayor of Windsor in Shakespeare’s day. He was also the owner of a local pub and some historians believe that galleys is the landlord who appears in Shakespeare’s the Merry wives of Windsor.
This one might have been difficult to pin down, except that it joins Nelson Road. It is a fair bet that this road also refers to a national military hero. General Gordon of Khartoum became a famous military leader in the mid 1800s.
Goslar is one of Windsor’s twin towns. A German town in Lower Saxony.
Goswell is one of Windsors really old roads.
Along with Stuart Way Tudor Way these street names celebrate British Royal Families.
Augustus Keppel was MP for the town in the 1760s and 70s.
Plenty of Knights of the Realm in Windsor but also Charles Knight the bookseller and founder of the Windsor and Eton Express.
Mead is an old name for meadow and the name comes from the field of the same name that was here before it all got built on.
Dedworth Loring was the name of one of two Manor houses west of Windsor. the De Loring (or Loryng) family were almost certainly descended from Albert Lothingaria, the Royal physician who owned Dedworth at the time of the Domesday Book.
John Marbeck 1541 Became an organist at St. George’s chapel. He was later accused of uttering sacrilegious words against the mass. He was found guilty at the trial of “the Windsor martyrs’ and sentenced to death. However he was pardoned unlike his three fellow accused, Filmer, Pierson and Testwood who all were executed by burning at the stake.
Althhough Admirial Nelson doesn’t have much of a link with Windsor it was almost inevitable that a street here would be named after him. The duke of Clarence ( later King William IV) did actually serve with Nelson in the West Indies when he was a young man.
One of the obvious names, Park Street leads to the park.
Pierson was on of the three Windsor Martyrs burned at the stake during the reign of Henry VIII
Probably the oldest street in Windsor, Peascod is an old name for a pea pod.
Poolmans Farm once stood here, so this is a street named after a local family.
The street takes its name from the bens in the river known as Ruddle’s pool which sits behind the houses at the north end of the road.
The sheet was a medieval common field.
St Albans Street
Named after the actress Nell Gwynn’s son! King Charles II and Nell had two illegitimate sons together. The eldest named Charles, was given the title Duke of St Albans. The family lived close to the Castle near the Long Walk in Burford House.
The Haonoverians, Tudors and Stuarts are remembered by three streets in West Windsor.
Stovel became lord of the manor of Clewer after the third Arthur Vannsittart died in 1859.
Surly Hall Walk
This is a strange name for a short road to the west of town. The road leads up towards the park and then to the Maidenhead Road and it was here that the Surly Hall Hotel once stood. According to Dickens ‘book of the river’ Surly Hall was a “tavern well known to all oarsmen, and especially dear to every Etonian. It is on the Berks bank, about half a mile above Boveney Lock. The house has recently been renovated, and affords reasonably good accommodation. During the summer season the Eights of the Eton Boat Club pay periodical visits to Surly, on which occasions great havoc is wrought amongst the ducks and green peas. In a meadow opposite are laid out the tables for the feast at the annual celebration of the birthday of George III, the 4th of June, the great event … in the Eton boy’s year.”
In 1851 the Landlord was a Mr Henry Hall. The hotel or inn was pulled down around 1900. The Maidenhead Road used to have a different name. It was still listed as Surly Hall Road in the 1910 Ordinance Survey map. Surley Hall located near the present day ‘Squires’roundabout where theMaidenhead road meets Ruddlesway. (A note to future historians. This roundabout is locally known as Squires after the garden centre that can currently be found there.
Testwood was on of the three Windsor Martyrs burned at the sake during the reign of Henry VIII. Their execution took place close to where Thames St crosses the Datchet Road.
Old street names were often practical. It’s the street that leads down to the River Thames.
Tinker is an old name for a traveling mender of metal household utensils, but general travellers of any sort used to be called Tinkers by the general public.
Trinity church can be found here, so the naming seems obvious but Windsor has a Trinity connection that you may not know about. The Guildhall was built by the members of the Trinity Guild. This was the Guild of merchants who effectively ran Windsor for many hundreds of years.
Along with Stuart Way and Hanover Way, these names simply commemorate former royal dynasties.
Vale Farm stood about half way along the path that was turned into a residential street in the 1930s and the road was named after the farm.
Arthur Vansittart became Lord of The Manor of Clewer in 1720. It then passed to his son (another Arthur) and then Grandson (Arthur again) who died in 1859.
Named after King William IV who reigned from June 1830 for seven years and was succeeded by his niece Victoria
I read online that the last wild wolf in Berkshire was killed in Dedworth, and the street name commemorates this, but when I asked for a reference there was no response. For now, we will withhold judgement on this etymology.
There are plenty of streets that I haven’t discovered the names of so if you have more to add on this subject please do get in touch.