Readers' Feedback


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Generated : 21st May 2024


Suzy Martin

I'm currently planning a trip to London (a friend of mine is studying abroad there, and I'm anxiously awaiting a visit!), and I found your resources on to be extremely helpful. Many travel sites are hard to navigate and are full of repetitive information, but your page had a good deal of resources that I think will be very helpful.

Just wanted to let you know about a site that has some really great London hotels -

I've been checking it out as I plan, and I will probably end up booking through the site. Thought you might be interested since your site seems to have a lot of great travel resources :) Thanks again for putting together such a great've obviously spent a lot of time on it and I wanted you to help make it better!


KryssTal Reply: Thank you for your kind words. I have added the listing to my feedback page.


Jon Bird


Just had a look at your website on the origin of London Place names and found it very interesting, albeit a little thin of its explanations in some instances. Perhaps you will allow me to enlarge on some of them that I recall as a school boy in Stratford East London during the 1970's.

Stratford: is indeed a Roman Road by a ford (river crossing, not the car as I originally thought !!) But the name is literally derived from the term "Straight by Ford" meaning the straight road that ran to the ford. Modern day Stratford High Street crosses the river Lea in 2 places and used to cross a canal (now long since filled in)

Redbridge: Named after The Red Bridge which crossed the river Rodding. This, like all other bridges in their day was a toll bridge and the toll merchants used to decorate their bridges (it s believed) in order to make the largely iliterate population remember them, and thus use their bridge. The nearest competitior to the Red Bridge was Woodford Bridge just to the north.

Newham: Means the New Town, it was born out of the London Boroughs act (1964 I think) and was based on the almagamation of East Ham (meaning the Eastern Hamlet or town) and West Ham (western Hamlet).

White City was not exclusively named after the colour of the nearby stadium, but was a local name given to an area of Shepherds Bush in reference to the number of pearl white building that appeared on the site of the 1908 Franco-British exhibition and olympic stadium complex. The was adopted and has stuck ever since.

Streatham as your description says means homestead on a Roman road, a more literal translation would be "Strait Ham" meaning straight (old english desription of a Roman road) by a Ham (again old english for home or settlement).

Plaistow, does not mean "Place for playing" it comes from the french word meaning to please or make happy, apparently had a dubious reputation for loose women (so my teacher said).

Notting Hill takes its name from a type of tree that still grows in abundance in Holland park called "Knotty Hull" (spelling of Hull may vary, I got this from an article entitled "Why I live in xxxxx" from an old edition of the London Evening Standard).

Marlebone, named after a french lady called Maria-le-bon. I was of the opinion that she escape revolutionary France and settled in this part of London.

Knightsbridge means the Kings Road. Not the trendy shopping district in chelsea, but the road from Westminster to Kensington (now the A315 from Hyde park corner named as: knightsbridge, Kensington road, Kensington Gore, Kensington road) Apparently travellers wishing to travel from Westminster to Kensington would gather at one end and wait to travel on the Kings highway as it was safer in numbers.

Kentish Town takes its name from the Ken Ditch, a stream that starts in Hampstead before ultimately joining the River Fleet before exiting into the thames near Blackfriars Bridge.

Hornchurch also known as "The Horn Church (locally also called the hunters church) named after the fact that a lot of deer hunting took place there (probably on a comercial basis) and later it was an area where deer were raised for the royal encloseure at Chingford for Queen Elizabeth the first. To this day (well this morning at least) there is still a pair of deers horns mounted on the outside wall of the alter end of the church.

Heathrow, correct spelling is Heath Row. Some penile wart in a government office in the 1950's who was involved in the planning of London's airport who had no idea where Middlesex (the county that doesn't exist) was. Therefore it comes as no surprise that Heath Row was misspelt. More useless trivia for you. Heath Row was shrouded in mystery and was an official secret. All the government would say was that London new airport would be built within 12 miles of Hyde Park Corner. Every one thought it was going to be on the sight of the old RAF bomber command station at Croydon!

Chelsea, corruption of the name "Channel to sea" in reference to the modern day Cheslea creek, by Battersea bridge.

I hope you do not mind me writing to you on this subject. Whilst at school I found this incredably boring and tried to find ways of planting an explosive device on my teachers car in order to make him buck his ideas up, but in later life I did the knowledge to be a London Cabby and suddenly this all started to make sense.

Thanks for a great site.

Politicians are like nappies. They need to be changed often and for the same reasons.

KryssTal Reply: Hello, Jon.

Firstly let me apologise for not responding to your excellent and informative email for two years. It really is very rude of me. Firstly, I went to southern Africa, shortly after your email arrived, to see the December 2002 total solar eclipse. Next we moved house. Ironically from Highbury to Hackney, close to the River Lee you mention and not too far from the "Straight Ford".

Then we invaded Iraq and I spent lots of time updating my Democracy pages.

I have read your account with interest and wonder if there is not a web page inside you somewhere as your explanations are, as you infer, more detailed than mine.

I will publish your comments on my feedback pages (look under London) so that they can be generally read. Again, sorry for the delay and I wish you season's greetings for a fellow inhabitant of the Northern Hemisphere.


Joanna M. Glenn

Please, what is the correct pronounciation for Covent Gardens? Thanks.

KryssTal Reply: "Kovent garden"


Vicky Walker

Just found your site courtesy of some erudite Americans. I'm a South Londoner who is currently living in California, and found your site very interesting.

However, I must take issue with your claim that Catford is named after a 'place with wild cats'. Sounds nice, and there is that big cat statue on the shopping centre there! However, I've read a few local history books about various SE London locations and they say that Catford was either named for a man named Ceatta (Ceatta's Ford) way back in pre-medieval times, or it was originally Cattle-ford as there were many farms there in the 19th century (and still were well into the 20th). I don't want to put down all your hard work, but you might want to include these possibilities in your list!

KryssTal Reply: Thanks for writing - I will certainly follow this up.


David Leboff

Your answer to Marcus Robert Smith's question re the origins of the Underground map is not quite correct. Although Harry Beck did indeed conceive the first true diagrammatic depiction of the system in the early 1930s, maps of the Underground, and the individual railway companies of which it comprises, date back many decades earlier.

The first maps to be found originate in the 1860s, when the Metropolitan Railway (now line) opened but the first main series was produced by the Metropolitan District Railway (now the District line) in the mid-1870s. The first maps depicting the combined network appeared around 1907 when three of the 'tube' lines opened and co-ordinated their publicity material.

The whole story of the early maps is told in my book entitled 'No Need to Ask', also published by Capital Transport and a companion volume to 'Mr Beck's Underground Map'.


Alice Hargreaves

I very much enjoyed reading your history of London place names. However, I have to disagree with two of the entries:

Teddington actually means "Tide end town" (ie where the tide from the sea stops affecting the water of the Thames). Also Mortlake, which is where I live, was named after a burial pit during the Plague ("mort" meaning death of course).

Hope this is useful to you!

KryssTal Reply: Very useful. I will follow it up


Don Dively


My name is Don. I am from America, and I will be travelling to London at the end of this month. I read your interesting and comprehensive article on the Piccadilly Line. I was hoping to use this line to travel from Brompton Road to Heathrow for my return flight on Tuesday (30 Jan 01). I have done extensive web searches, and am unable to find a rail schedule for this service. Can you help me? Do you know any good URLs for rail schedules for the London Underground? I especially need to know what time the Underground begins service in the mornings. I need to be at Heathrow for a 07:30 departure (international) so I need to leave the Kensington area quite early. Do the trains start very early? Thanks for you time, and for the fine article.

KryssTal Reply: The tube usually starts around 6am so it may not be suitable for an early flight. From Kensington there are buses. There are tourist offices at the airport and major rail stations so don't worry. Have a good time.

Thanks for replying, and for the info!


Stephen Humphreys

As a site intended as a "British" site for tourists I don't think the use of metric (eg. 1500 sq kilometres) is very apt. If you wish to portray a site that is British and shows our culture, past and present then could I suggest you use British measurements. I find it irritating when some (admittedly few) Americans see Britain as a metric country and then come here to find that all our roads / language spoken is imperial!

Just thought I'd give some constructive critisism to make your site seem more British and not an 'EU official site'.

Cheers, Steve

KryssTal Reply: Hello. My site is British but is communicating on the WORLD wide web, most of whos members use the metric system.

I tend to use the four world units to communicate to an international audience: the English language, the metric system, Greenwich Mean Time and the dollar. With these four units / tools you can communicate with everyone. I also have a conversion table for the so-called British units


Be aware, though, that "miles" are Roman (mille paces - 1000 paces) as are the "lb" and "" symbols for both types of pound, Farenheit was German (as opposed to the Swede Celsius - the only British temperature unit is Kelvin named after the Lord of that name), and the word "ounce" comes from Persian. We have a mixed past!

My site is not EU based; it is, hopefully, WORLD wide web based.

Thanks for your comments. By the way, it's 619 square miles.

Thanks for clearing that up. Bear in mind that most Americans don't have a clue what a square kilometre is (they have a bad enough day when kilometre is mentioned in Star Trek!).

You might have guessed that I'm pro-'Imperial' !! You'd probably agree (noticing your love of all things London) that to lose our age old but unique measuring system would be a travesty considering how compatible it is in everyday life and how loved it is by the British people. That's why I raised the question.

Nice to hear your 'World' stance rather than an 'EU' stance, though. Thanks for the prompt reply, and keep up the good work.

KryssTal Reply: Thanks for your comments. Yes the Americans have to learn metric and Greenwich Mean Time but they already have the English language and the dollar. Everybody has to yield something to communicate.

The reason I prefer the metric system is because it is easier to convert between units. For example:

A volume of 1 cubic foot. How many gallons does it hold?

This should be simple conversion between length and volume but requires a knowledge of the relationship between two totally unrelated units of volume: cubic feet and gallons. And of course the US gallon is different to the UK gallon. In an international economy this is hardly a good position. In metric, the cubic meter (volume) is easily tied in to the meter (length).

How many inches in a mile? The answer is approximately 63360 but you would have to know that or sit there multiplying a number of unrelated numbers (12, 3, 1760). On last week's University Challenge (a TV quiz show in the UK aimed at university students) there was a starter: How many cubic nanometers in a cubic centimetre? I got it correct before the buzzer. Nano is 9; centi is 2 so the difference is 7. Cube means three 7s: 21. or 10 to the power of 21. In metric you can work out volumes in your head but in Imperial, even simple lengths cause problems.

Once you move to energy systems the situation gets sillier. Power should be electric current times voltage. In metric it is. 250 Volts drawing 10 Amps? Why it's 2500 Watts.

Our system uses British Thermal Units per Hour? That means you can't just multiply voltage by current. You have to know that 1055 Joules is 1 BTU and that there are 3600 seconds in an hour. I remember these numbers because I'm anal but I'd hope my kids could avoid them.

My preference of metric is for ease of use in science and for international communication. It's got nothing to do with the EU or my Britishness. I would also advise Americans not to use EST but to stick to the better known (internationally) GMT. As for the dollar, if you travel and meet a Swiss and an Australian, you all compare prices in dollars because you all know the rate of your currencies to the dollar.

Hope that clears a few ideas up.


Linda Onorato

I finally found the perfect website to help in teaching elementary chemistry to my 10 year old son . He is doing a science project on methylphenidate and needed to know some simple chemistry . Because of you, he loves chemistry!!

Thanks for keeping it simple.


Randolph Resor

The man who bought the rights to the two predecessors you mentioned was indeed an American. He was Charles Tyson Yerkes, of Chicago, who made his money in horsecar and elevated railway franchises in that city. When asked by a city councilman to add more cars to the elevated trains to reduce crowding, he replied, "Nonsense! The straphangers pay the dividends!" This quote is almost as famous in Chicago as the legendary (and apocryphal) "The public be damned!" attributed to WIlliam H. Vanderbilt.

On the bright side, Yerkes also gave the University of Chicago, of which I am an alumnus, the largest refracting telescope in the world. It is still very much in use at its observatory in Williams Bay, IL. Due to the stability of the unsilvered mirrors in the 'scope, it is largely used for positional astronomical studies today.

KryssTal Reply: Hello Randolph (I won't call you "Randy" - see my London Tourists Tips page for the reason!)

Thanks for the info. I have updated the essay with Mr Yerkes first name.

© 2024, KryssTal