What’s in a Name: London’s Hills and the Origin of their Names

London’s Hills and the Origin of their Names - What’s in a Name: London’s Hills and the Origin of their Names

The hills surrounding London are a boon for the area. Considering there are already plenty of places to see and visit in London, you can also take a trip to the surrounding areas and explore them—they were also part of history, a reason why their names bear significance. Be it because of famous people or events that happened there, these hills are a sight to behold.

Whatever your reason may be—as a student of history or as a citizen of the world—you can visit these places and take in their significance to the world. Here are some places that bears famous names in London.

Muswell Hill/a miraculous well

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Pinterest

The area of Muswell Hill is, by far, the most interesting feature here. Legend has it that a well with healing properties lent its name to the hill. People from nuns and priests to Scotland’s Malcolm IV are said to have been healed by the waters. A simpler explanation cites moss as the reason for its name.

Ludgate Hill/a gate

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Wikimedia Commons

St. Paul’s Cathedral marks the site near this ancient entryway to the city. The Ludgate is so named for an ancient structure once found near the city—a western gate. It was also located where the present-day St. Martin’s church now stands. It can also be said that it derives the name from the Saxon ‘hlid-geat,’ a term for a gateway.

Gants Hill/after a family, insect

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Ilford Recorder

There are two things that fuel the dispute for naming Gants Hill. Some say that it was so named because of the family that once lived here—the Leo Gant family. They were stewards; others, however, believe that the hill was so named for its association with gnats.

Highgate Hill/a gate

Highgate Hill towards Archway - What’s in a Name: London’s Hills and the Origin of their Names
Highgate Hill

Another gate into the city was once located where Highgate Hill now stands. This place may be a great place to visit now, but once, it was part of an access route into the Bishop of London’s hunting grounds. On this spot, the best deer could be caught and it was where kings and princes once hunted game.

Denmark Hill/a king

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Hidden London

Denmark Hill is, obviously, seemingly named after a country. More specifically, it is named for the king of Denmark, George, who was the husband of Queen Anne. Their properties once stood in the area. In close proximity is Dog Kennel Hill, where his prized dogs were once found.

Cornhill/Corn

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Buildington

East of the River Walbrook, a now-buried water channel, lies Cornhill. This place in London is famous because it is the current location of the Royal Exchange. Can you take a guess why it was called Cornhill? It was so named because of the medieval corn trade that was once found here.

If you haven’t known already, then by now, you know that you’re living in an area that’s really old—a part of history. Now how’s that for living in an area with a rich background?

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