Friday, January 06, 2006

Whose Court Is It?

OK, I'm on the tube - that's the London Underground System for those who don't speak 'London'. I'd brought a good book and my i-pod (love my i-pod - nearly 9,000 songs on shuffle!) so I had plenty to keep me busy. But still my mind wandered.
Here's why.
Take a look at this map and find square D3.
Have a good look.
Notice anything funny about the names of the stations? Anything inconsistent?
I'll tell you what I saw - next to each other on the Piccadilly Line there are two stations: Barons Court and Earl's Court.
Now do you notice any inconsistency?
How's this - "Earl's Court" has an apostrophe but "Barons Court" doesn't. What's going on there?
OK, so the one court belongs to an Earl, or did when they named it, maybe. Didn't the other court ever belong to a Baron? If not, who owned it? And why were there so many Barons there that the place had to be named after them?
It's a mystery that addled my tiny brain all the way home.

By the way, if you're into the design of the tube map, like I am, you might like some of these:
The 1932 map.
The 1956 map.
If the Tube were a Brio Train Set.
Explains a lot.
That's a real Circle Line.
If 1939-45 had gone differently.
Find out Where places really are.
Woah, weird.
The tube from Space.

Finally, my favourite:
Watch the trains!

Oh wait, nearly forgot this one, which I actually used to do when I was little. How sad is that?


James Casey said...

All those links were really cool, thanks.

D3 also has apostrophes in both Shep Bush stations - to the best of my knowledge it is 'Shepherds Bush'. Therefore either of the Courts could be wrong.

Anonymous said...

As I am sure you are aware, Harry Beck lived in West Finchley. There is now a blue plaque on his former home at 60 Courthouse Road N12.

(Courthouse Road N12 / Courthouse Gardens N3 must be one of the most confusing streets for delivery drivers!)

Anonymous said...

Obviously this has troubled others because I remember reading about a book which in it's promotional blurb claims to answer this question, among others. It is called London By London: The Insiders Guide.