Thursday, 23 February 2012

Upton Snodsbury and Wyre Piddle


You have to have been born in England to immediately guess that these are names of ancient, tiny English villages in some county like Worcestershire. They featured on the snowy, country road that leads to the community rehab hospital where my dad has been since New Year. Apart from eliciting the odd giggle of disbelief in a foreigner (after all, England is peppered with such places), all no doubt having some great linguistic significance as many of them are listed in the Doomsday Book,I looked it up and found that the 'bury' part is to do with the 'manor' of the feudal lord of whichever district applies.  It is great fun to look at a detailed map of England and marvel at these names.  I recommend it if you ever have a spare Google moment or two.


  1. Checking out Google maps is just incredible. My wife was looking at some old photos of her maternal grandparents around 1905 when they still lived in England. There were addresses of the photo shops in New Castle Upon the Tyne on the back of the photos which were quite ornate. Looking at Google maps in street view I was able to find these buildings, which I believe were probably the same buildings although no longer photo shops.

    I did the same thing with scenes from the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo trilogy. In the second book The Girl Who Played With Fire, Lisbeth is attacked by the guy from the motorcycle gang. She escapes up steps from the lower Lundagatan to the upper Lundagatan.

    You can see these steps in Google Maps street view by typing in

    49 Lundagatan Stockholm Sweden

    in the search bar, grabbing the little man (to go into street view) and place him where the ballon is on the map. The steps are in the bushes across the street from the buildings. Look for the painted cross walk marks on the street and look in the bushes. Pretty cool. The action in the book is located at location 3107 (sorry I have a kindle) which is at 30%.

    You can also see Lisbeth's new fancy apartment, in the search bar type:

    9 Fiskargatan Stockholm Sweden

    It is the cream colored building when you face north east. If you zoom in on the keystone over the door, it says 9.

    I checked some other places described in the books, for some reason Larrson was extremely accurate with his street descriptions.

    You are right about the place names in England they often sound like names of places that Hobbits would hangout.

    I do believe that Eastern Pennsylvania holds the record for unusual names,
    Intercourse, Bird in Hand, Blue Ball. According the wikipedia article they have troubles with theft of the signs.,_Pennsylvania

    One of the items on my bucket list is for my wife and I to stay overnight in this town. Alas, we are not romantic Bed & Breakfast types, we tend more to the bland anonymity of the local chain hotel. The notion of frolicking about in a bed that William Penn spent a pious and chaste night in seems to have an adverse effect on my libido. Then there are worries of sound effects, creaky floors, thin walls, squeaky springs. But I think the worse aspect of staying at a bed and breakfast for me, I have never been able to figure out where one should look when being served breakfast by the kindly proprietor who changed your bedsheets yesterday morning.

    With the normal difficulties of those of us on the threshold of the golden years, I fear that to achieve our goal in our overnight stay in Intercourse Pennsylvania will require a less "cozy and historically home like" venue. As such I was overjoyed to find that there is Best Western in Intercourse. Road trip!

  2. As always, vastly entertaining comment! Thanks, SExtant