A new home for my blog!

This Blogger blog is no longer updated...

My blog has a new home on my new website!

Note: if you comment from this point forward on this blogger blog, I will likely not see it. All these posts are on my website now, so please comment there. Thank you!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Interesting historical name of the week!

Do not read on if you dislike profanity because this is the extravagantly named Bastard Hall in the lovely historical town of Much Wenlock in Shropshire. Bastard Hall is a fabulous 15th century house currently up for sale for half a million pounds. It has oak panelling in the drawing room, plenty of exposed beams, inglenook fireplaces and a 16th century priest's hole.

The original Bastard Hall is thought to date from the 12th century and when it burned down the current house was built on the same spot. The name Bastard Hall derives from Richard le Bastard who owned the house in 1267 and was the attorney to Wenlock Priory. The property later belonged to William Bastard, presumably a descendent of Richard's. Maybe they were more down to earth about their antecedents (or their characters!) in those days because a quick look through our local telephone directory didn't reveal anyone rejoicing in the surname Bastard in 2010. Incidentally, whilst researching the history of Bastard Hall I came across this marvellous website listing unusual place names!


Elizabeth Kerri Mahon said...

This reminds of the Rik Mayall sitcom The New Statesman where he played Alan Beresford Bastard but he pronounced it the French way to be pretentious.

Nicola Cornick said...

LOL, I'd forgotten about Alan B'stard!

Jan Jones said...

It's a great name, Nicola! I bet it causes all sorts of problems at the post-code website.

I think you are right, and earlier folk weren't quite so precious about names as we have become. Think of all those lovely descriptive surnames in the Georgian plays.

Nicola Cornick said...

Yes, it must cause quite a stir when they give their address over the phone for deliveries!

Very interesting about the surnames in the Georgian plays, Jan. I imagine the Georgians were a rather blunt and bawdy bunch so maybe it all changed in the Victorian era. Perhaps the B'stards changed their name by deed poll!

Alison said...

There are probably still Bastards out there (ha ha), but surnames can metamorphasise into all kinds of things over the years.

Talking of names, I always love Ugley in Essex. Pronounced Ooo-glee!