What’s in a Name?

Have you ever wondered where place/road names in Upminster and Cranham come from? For example:

  • Howard Road – named after Major Howard who lived at High House on Corbets Tey Road and was killed in the battle of Waterloo in 1815
  • St Lawrence Road – named after the Church (which is spelt differently?) and the Christian Martyr who was said to have been burnt to death for his faith on a grid-iron
  • Corbets Tey Road – the more fanciful explanation is that Queen Elizabeth I was on her way to Tilbury and as she passed through said to her servant ‘Corbet, stay so I can admire the view’ – Hence Corbets Tey! The less romantic version is that it goes back to a 13th Century family named Corbin together with the Saxon word for enclosure ‘Tey’.
  • Derham Gardens – built in 1926, pays homage to William Derham, the main rector of Upminster in the 17th century who made one of the most important scientific discoveries by calculating the speed of sound from the top of the Saint Laurence’s church.
  • Champion Road – in 1685 Captain Andrew Branfill purchased the Manor of Upminster Hall. He was born in 1640 in Devon and made a fortune out of privateering from his ship ‘The Champion’. He died in 1709. His son was named Champion Branfill (1683-1738) and each succeeding male heir to the estate has since been given the name ‘Champion’.
  • Plough Rise – from Cranham’s old ‘Plough’ public house

Any more explanations out there?

  1. Why are there two different spellings for Branfil? The school has one ‘L’ but the road has two. Thank you for your response.

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