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What's in a Name?

House names in The West Country aren’t uncommon. Just walk through a sleepy village hidden in the hills and you’ll find rows of homes almost exclusively named instead of numbered. But why do some houses have names?

Historically, families with large estates, manor houses or large farms would bestow a name to their property. As the years went by less so was it exclusively for rich families to have named homes, which is why we see a lot of properties around today with names in place of numbers.

Numbering houses in relation to its position on the street came about in the 18th century. With the population growing, and residential housing communities becoming more common, they needed a solution to keep up with the demand for identifying properties.

So how do they get their names?

A lot can go into choosing a name. Traditionally the name of a property can reflect where the house is located. Popular names such as ‘Rose Cottage’ or ‘Treetops’ are commonly given to homes that are situated in pastoral areas.

History can also play its part. Again, common names like “School House” or “The Old Post Office” does what it says on the tin. As the population grew, so did the demand for bigger schools and post offices’. School houses were no longer needed, nor were corner shops where you could send your mail, and they were subsequently turned into residential properties, some of which still hold their heritage in its name.

Another way a name can be determined is by wildlife. A property that sold in a recent auction was a property called ‘Robins Nest’ due to the birds that call it home. When undergoing conservation checks during the planning application stages, authorities ordered that upon granting the planning permissions, the owner must find a new home for these birds. The name ‘Robins Nest’ then stuck to the property.

Of course, there are lots of origins behind naming a property, and you can even just choose a name for yourself! You have to write to your local authority who will check with Royal Mail that the name will not cause offence or conflict with anyone in the immediate area. There is a small fee to pay, but The Telegraph reports that having a house name can increase the value of your property.

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