Britain shows off its love of writers with 10,000 addresses inspired by great poets
Now a study has found poets themselves have become an inspiration for Britain’s builders and town planners as it emerged that more than 10,000 UK addresses have been inspired in some way by the nation’s most esteemed poets and their works, including more than 600 in Glasgow.
According to research from the Royal Mail, novelists the Brontë sisters, who also penned poetry, have officially had the greatest influence on the nation’s verse-related street and house names. This is followed by Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley.
Glasgow was the only Scottish city to make the top 20 of poetry-inspired names, boasting 610 addresses inspired by poets. The highest ranked poet from Scotland is Robert Burns, with more than 720 street names dedicated to him throughout the UK.
Released to mark National Poetry Day today, the study found that areas which produced internationally recognised writers and artists generally boasted the greatest number of addresses related to poetry.
The analysis of more than 30 million addresses investigated the full extent of the impact the nation’s poetic wordsmiths have had on the British psyche.
Unsurpringly, addresses north of the Border favour Scottish writers. Burns Road, named after the bard, exist in Kirkintilloch and Cumbernauld, while there is a Robert Burns Avenue in Clydebank. Meanwhile, Edinburgh boasts a Walter Scott Avenue, and Dunfermline and Inverness both have a street named after Glasgow poet and UK poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy.
More than 700 British streets and houses directly use the Brontë family name, including Brontë Gardens in Exeter and Charlotte Brontë Drive in Droitwich.
Some of the nation’s less well-known poets have left their mark, including 17th century writer Aphra Behn, whose birthplace in Canterbury boasts the Behn Hall student village.
Meanwhile, 3 per cent – more than 6,100 – of the nation’s named homes also sport a moniker relating to a British poet, ranging from Amis Court, after Kingsley Amis, in Warwickshire to Eliot Cottage in Hampshire, named after TS Eliot.
Other poetry-related names on the database include Dickens Dell in Southampton and Philip Larkin Close in Hull.
Dylan Thomas, Christina Rossetti, Rupert Brooke, TS Elliot, multiple prize-winner Alice Oswald and Siegfried Sassoon also made the top ten list of poets whose names have been used in addresses.
Steve Rooney, head of Royal Mail’s address management unit, said: “Street, house and building names chiefly reflect our nation’s heritage and primary interests.
“As a country with such a proud literary heritage, it’s wonderful to see the full extent that our poets and their works have had on the British psyche.”
As the home of hundreds of celebrated writers throughout the years, Cardiff is the postcode area that officially sports the highest number of addresses relating to verse, with more than 1,450 poet-inspired addresses. This is followed by Birmingham, Coventry and Warwickshire, Northamptonshire and Greater Manchester.