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The fascination of place names

Becky Collier
By Becky Collier
6th July 2022

Tony Painter gave us a really interesting talk in June 2022 at Wells & Mendip Museum

The place names of Somerset range from the poetic, Wyke Champflower, Hornblotton or Huish Episcopi to the more down to earth sounding, such as Wookey, Sock Dennis and Chard.  in June 2022, Tony Painter delivered  a light hearted illustrated talk for us on “The fascination of Place Names”.  The subject is obviously of great interest as we had a packed room of almost 90 guests at Wells & Mendip Museum.

Tony’s family originates from Wiltshire and Somerset and he spent some thirty years with the MoD as a Map Research Officer. Since retirement he writes historical notes for the Alan Godfrey map series, and his work on these maps has spawned the interest in local names. Tony covered some general principles of place names, ranging from towns and villages down to streets and pubs.  His examples showed the historic insight they provide into a past way of life.  He also provided a humorous trip through the ages, illustrating how, in some cases, names have been changed to move with the times and not cause offence!

Many thanks to everyone who donated a raffle prize and bought raffle tickets.  CPRE Somerset raised just over £400 from this event which will help with our work for the Somerset countryside.  Most off all, thank you to Tony Painter for entertaining and informing us so brilliantly!


A fingerpost points left to Fenny Castle, Wookey and Wells; right to Godney and straight forward to Bleadney