Wednesday 25 June 2008

A London Underground quiz

One of my favourite London books is a small volume called 'What's in a name?' by Cyril M Harris. Its simple but inspired concept is to give the origins of every underground and Docklands Light Railway station name. Obviously, I couldn't resist turning to my local stations first, but this is also a great book to dip in and out of. The mix of etymology, local history and station opening dates means you'll always learn new and random London facts - I found that a Civil War skirmish took place near New Cross in 1648, and that later a coaching tavern called the Golden Cross stood there; while Islington used to be Gislandune.

See if you can answer the following questions: answers will appear here in the next day or two, or you can find them in the book!
  1. Which station is on the former estate of the Duke of Grafton, and named after his Suffolk home?
  2. Which station's name means 'the new manor house in the park'?
  3. Sloane Square was named in honour of which notable person?
  4. This station is named after a sports stadium built as part of the Franco-British Exhibition.
  5. Which underground station comes last alphabetically?
  6. This was one of the commonest medieval inn signs; there were 23 **** Alleys and 30 **** Courts in London in the mid-eighteenth century.
  7. The meaning of Earl's Court may seem obvious - but which earl?
  8. This station takes its name from a street, itself called after a town in Italy.

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