Village Advent Celebrations 2019. December 7th. Asby House, Manor Road.

A cosy Victorian school room scene with the snow falling gently outside. No snow for us yet, but there are thirteen more days to go!

More pictures on the next page (Click on “Read the rest of this entry”)



























Some notes on the evolution of Sulgrave village street names.

This wonderful photograph taken in about 1896 by Leicester professional photographer S.A.W. Newton shows, on the extreme right, the then entrance gates to the site now occupied by Asby House. The street that we know as Manor Road was clearly called Weston Road at that time. The word “road” has come to mean a paved or surfaced highway but originally it simply meant a “way” or “route” between two points. The word is said to have been derived from the Saxon word “rade” meaning “travel”. The Weston Road in Newton’s photograph had that title because it led directly to the village of Weston, along the bridleway now called “the Green Lane to Weston”. The importance of this road was demonstrated by the construction of a large tunnel where it crossed the former Great Central Railway, under construction at the time of the photograph (but now boarded up). This had to be big enough to accommodate horse drawn vehicles travelling along “the road” from Sulgrave to Weston.

A branch road from this original Weston Road originally led from the eastern end of the village directly to the village of Moreton Pinkney and was therefore known as the Moreton Road and this is what it is still called by the few remaining villagers of my generation. However, as it is only surfaced between Sulgrave and the Banbury Lane at the top of the hill, later generations seem to be reluctant to use this name and it is increasingly referred to as the “Weston Road”, because it is the shortest, though perhaps not the most sensible, way to drive to Weston.

Thus road names can evolve to suit the linguistic needs of the people who most frequently refer to them. Manor Road is a relatively recent “gentrification” of Weston Road. For many years it was known as “Great Street” (or even “Big Street”) to differentiate it from the smaller parallel street still known as Little Street.

The sunken lane around the western end of the village was originally and descriptively known as Dark Lane. At no time in my 82 years was there ever a sign bearing those words. However, possibly at the time when street signs were first erected, it was decided (perhaps by the then Parish Council) to rename it Park Lane. Presumably this was for the same reason that new housing developments on the edge of towns have names with pleasant country connotations, such as “Meadows”, “Glebe” or “Park” rather than accurate descriptions such as “Factory Lane” or “Tanners’ Yard”!

Colin Wootton


One Response to “Village Advent Celebrations 2019. December 7th. Asby House, Manor Road.”

  1. Ingram Lloyd says:

    You’re amazing Colin. Your comments and historical background to current events make for fascinating reading. Thank you so much

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