Tag Archives: Parish councils in England

What’s in a name?

Quite a lot apparently. Stamford Homes, the developer of the new housing site off Clay Lane decided to call it Drover’s Mead – a suggestion that stirred up a hornet’s nest of consternation.

It has now caved in to pressure from the Parish Council, renaming the site with a moniker more historically and culturally significant to the village.

Instead of twee generic pap they have opted instead for ‘Berrystead,’ which has now received approval from the City Council. A quick look on Facebook could have helped them gauge the feelings about the original suggestion:

“…this lane was always meant for Fred Green, taking the cows back to the field after milking. These “newbies” will never know it as it was.”


“Who came up with that stupid name Drovers Mead? Let’s hope the Parish Council soon kick that into touch and give it a name that has some meaning to the village. DROVERS MEAD MY ARSE !!”


“Probably some marketing bloke who’s never been to the village!  Wouldn’t have been difficult to do a nice bit of local PR and asked for suggestions from the village.”

So, with a long list of suggestions including The Spinny, Todd’s Piece and so on why has the developer gone for Berrystead? A poll of possible names was carried out by the Parish Council and the list of suggestions – including Berrystead – was sent to the Council and the developer. After consideration they plumped for Berrystead.

The name Berrystead dates back to the 11th century when the abbot of Peterborough held a manor in Castor known as the Castor or the Berrystead Manor. In 1321 it included a manor-house with garden, dovecote, woodland and fisheries in the Nene, which remained a church manor until the 20th century. 

In the survey of the ‘Manor of Castor or Berrystead’ carried out by the Parliamentary Commissioners in 1649 it was described as ‘consisting of one Hall, one Parlour wainscoted, one Kitchen, one Buttery with a little parlour adjoining, one Larder, one dairy, one Chamber over the Parlour, three other chambers, one little Chamber over the Porch, one gate entering into the Courtyard Chamber over, one Stable with Outhouses with eight small bays, one great barn of six bays besides the Berrystead, all built of stone and slated, one Kiln House, the yard and garden being three acres’ – a substantial farmstead for the period. The important manor also included fields including the site of the Stamford Homes development at the end of Clay Lane – hence the name Berrystead. 

For a full description check out the archive.

They’ve still gone for something generic and safe but it’s relevant. But, given that the area just up the lane is known locally as The Spinny perhaps that might have been a more appropriate name. But at least they’ve compromised.