Some street name derivations: W-Z

A lot of the street information research on this website is academic in nature – from university research, the Survey of London, British History Online, borough conservation areas and more. Occasionally, the Hive Mind comes up trumps – these derivations come from discoveries on the Wikipedia made during 2019 which is feeding into the project.

If we find derivations wanting here, we remove them. With that proviso, the TUM project provides them here for your enjoyment…

A-B-C D-E-F G-H-I J-K-L M-N-O P-Q-R S T-U-V W-X-Y-Z

Waithman Street – after Robert Waithman, Lord Mayor of London 1823-33 [City of London]
Wakefield Mews and Wakefield Street – after a former local pub, the Pindar of Wakefield [Bloomsbury]
Wakley Street – after 19th century surgeon and social reformer Thomas Wakley [Finsbury]
Walbrook and Walbrook Wharf – after the Walbrook stream which formerly flowed here, possibly with reference to the Anglo-Saxon ‘wealh’ meaning ‘foreigner’ (i.e. the native Britons, or ‘Welsh’) [City of London]
Walcot Square – after Edmund Walcot, 17th century owner of this land [Lambeth]
Walcott Street, SW1 – after Reverend MEC Walcott, curate of the St Margaret’s, Westminster in the 1840s
Waldegrave Road, Teddington (and the nearby park and gardens) were named after Frances Waldegrave, wife of the 7th Earl Waldegrave who lived at Strawberry Hill House in the 19th century on the road.
Walker Close, N11 The Walkers of Southgate were a prominent local family who owned Arnos Grove (now Southgate Beaumont) on nearby Cannon Hill. The street is located near the better known Arnos Grove tube station.
Walnut Tree Walk – after the walnut tress formerly prominent here [Kennington/Lambeth]
Wandsworth Road – as it led to the south-west London area of this name [Vauxhall]
Wardour Mews – named after local 17th century landowners the Wardour family, and formerly called Colman Hedge Lane after a nearby field; the section south of Brewer Street was formerly Prince Street prior to 1878, in parallel with Rupert Street [Soho]
Wardour Street, W1 Archibald Wardour was the architect of several buildings on the street
Wardrobe Place and Wardrobe Terrace – after the Royal Wardrobe which formerly stood here until destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666 [City of London]
Warner Street and Warner Yard – after Robert Warner, local 18th century landowner [Clerkenwell]
Warren Mews – after Anne Warren, wife of local 18th century landowner Charles Fitzroy [Fitzrovia]
Warren Street, W1 Anne Warren was the wife of Charles FitzRoy, 1st Baron Southampton, the land owner responsible for the development of the area
Warwick Court – site of the townhouse of Gray’s Inn lawyer Robert Rich, Baron Rich who was created Earl of Warwick in 1618 [Holborn]
Warwick House Street – formerly approached Warwick House, built in the 17th century for Sir Philip Warwick [St James]
Warwick Lane, Warwick Passage and Warwick Square – after the Neville family, earls of Warwick, who owned a house near here in the 1400s; formerly Old Dean’s Lane, after a house here resided in by the Dean of St Paul’s [City of London]
Warwick Place North, Warwick Row, Warwick Square, Warwick Square Mews, Warwick Way, West Warwick Place – after Henry Wise, local 18th century landowner and gardener to William III, who owned land in Warwickshire [Pimlico/Victoria]
Warwick Row – after Henry Wise, local 18th century landowner and gardener to William III, who owned land in Warwickshire [Westminster]
Warwick Street – unknown; formerly Dog Lane, later Marrowbone/Marylebone Street [Soho]
Wat Tyler Road, SE10 Wat Tyler was the rebel who launched the Peasants’ Revolt in 1381
Water Lane – after a former watergate that stood here by the Thames; formerly Spurrier Lane [City of London]
Water Street – formerly ran to the waterline of the Thames, prior to the building of the Thames Embankment [Holborn]
Watergate – after a watergate which stood here on the Thames [City of London]
Watergate Walk – after a former watergate built in 1626 for George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham as an entrance for the former York House [Strand]
Waterhouse Square – after Alfred Waterhouse, architect of Holborn Bars, also known as the Prudential Assurance Building, which surrounds the square [Hatton Garden]
Waterloo Bridge and Waterloo Road – the road was built in 1817 shortly after the British victory over Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo [Waterloo]
Waterloo Place – after the Battle of Waterloo which ended the Napoleonic Wars [St James]
Watling Court and Watling Street – corrupted from the old name of Athelingestrate (Saxon Prince Street), by association with the more famous Roman Watling Street [City of London]
Watson’s Mews – after John Watson, local 18th century leaseholder [Marylebone]
Waverton Street – after Waverton, Cheshire, where local landowners the Grosvenors also held land [Mayfair]
Weavers Lane – probably after weavers formerly working from here [Southwark]
Webbs Road Hillingdon Is one of a number of short roads in Yeading originally formed of social housing and named after Labour politicians. Sidney Webb and Beatrice Webb were prominent social reformers.
Wedgewood Mews – after Josiah Wedgewood, Georgian-era manufacturer of high-quality pottery and a campaigner for social reform, who owned a pottery near here [Soho]
Weighhouse Street – after the King’s Weigh House Chapel, which moved here its site above the King’s Weight House in the City in 1891; before this it was known as Robert Street, after Robert Grosvenor, 1st Marquess of Westminster, and before that as Chandler Street after the local chandler trade [Mayfair]
Welbeck Street – after Welbeck Abbey in Nottinghamshire, seat of William Bentinck, 2nd Duke of Portland [Marylebone]
Welbeck Way – after Welbeck Abbey in Nottinghamshire, seat of William Bentinck, 2nd Duke of Portland [Marylebone]
Well Court – after the numerous wells formerly located in this area [City of London]
Weller Street – after Sam Weller, a character in the novel The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens, by association with Dickens Square [Southwark]
Wellington Road, St John’s Wood Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington The road was developed from about 1816, following Wellington’s victory at the Battle of Waterloo.
Wellington Street – after Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington [Covent Garden]
Wells Mews – after Joseph (or George) Wells, local 17th century farmer [Fitzrovia]
Wells Street – after Joseph (or George) Wells, local 17th century farmer [Fitzrovia]
Werrington Street – after Werrington, Cornwall, where local landowners the dukes of Bedford held land; formerly Clarendon Street [Somers Town]
Wesley Street – after Charles Wesley, hymn author, who is buried nearby [Marylebone]
West Central Street – named in 1894, after the recent innovation of postcodes (this being the boundary between WC1 and WC1) [Covent Garden]
West Eaton Place – after local landowners the Grosvenors (titled Viscounts Belgrave), whose family seat is Eaton Hall, Cheshire [Belgravia]
West Halkin Street – after local landowners the Grosvenors (titled Viscounts Belgrave), who owned Halkyn Castle in Wales [Belgravia]
West Halkin Street is named after Halkyn Castle, originally a Grosvenor family property in Flintshire. [Belgravia]
West Harding Street – after local 16th century property owner Agnes Harding, who bequeathed the surrounding area to the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths for the upkeep of widows [City of London]
West Mews – a shortening of its pre-1936 name Warwick Place Mews West [Pimlico/Victoria]
West Poultry Avenue – after the meat trade here at Smithfield Market [City of London]
West Square – after its late 18th century owners the West family [Kennington/Lambeth]
West Square – after its late 18th century owners the West family [Lambeth]
West Street – unknown, possibly it was on the western boundary of St Gile’s parish; formerly Hog Street [Covent Garden]
Westminster Bridge Road – as it leads to Westminster Bridge [Lambeth]
Westminster Bridge Road – as it leads to Westminster Bridge [Waterloo]
Westmoreland Place – this land was formerly part of the Grosvenor family estate; as the last of their lands to be developed they had seemingly run out of eponymous names from themselves, so they chose various pleasant-sounding aristocratic titles, of which this is one [Pimlico/Victoria]
Westmoreland Terrace – this land was formerly part of the Grosvenor family estate; as the last of their lands to be developed they had seemingly run out of eponymous names from themselves, so they chose various pleasant-sounding aristocratic titles, of which this is one [Pimlico/Victoria]
Weston Rise – after John Weston, who built this road in the 1790s [Clerkenwell]
Weston Street – after local 19th century property owner John Weston [Southwark]
Weymouth Mews and Weymouth Street – after Lady Elizabeth Bentinck, Viscountess Weymouth, daughter of William Bentinck, 2nd Duke of Portland, who owned this estate [Marylebone]
Wheatley Street – after Francis Wheatley, Victorian artist who lived in the area [Marylebone]
Whetstone Park – built by William Whetstone in 1636 [Holborn]
Whidborne Street – possibly for directors of the East End Dwellings Company who developed these streets in the 1890s [Bloomsbury]
Whiskin Way – after John Whiskin, local landowner/builder in the 19th century [Clerkenwell]
Whitcomb Court – after William Whitcomb, 17th century brewer and property developer [Leicester Square]
Whitcomb Street – after William Whitcomb, 17th century brewer and property developer [Leicester Square]
White Hart Court – after a former inn of this name [City of London]
White Hart Street – by connection with local landowner Edward the Black Prince, son of Edward III, whose crest was a white hart [Kennington/Lambeth]
White Hart Yard – after a former inn here of this name [Southwark]
White Horse Street – after a former inn of this name at this site, named for the Royal emblem of the House of Hanover [Mayfair]
White Horse Yard – after a former inn of this name [City of London]
White Kennett Street, EC3 White Kennett Bishop of Peterborough (1707), was previously rector of the nearly St Botolph’s Aldgate
White Lion Court – after a former inn of this name, destroyed by fire in 1765 [City of London]
White Lion Hill – this formerly led to White Lion Wharf, which is thought to have been named after a local inn [City of London]
Whitecross Street – after a white cross which stood near here in the 1200s [Finsbury]
Whitefriars Street – after the Carmelite order (known as the White friars), who were granted land here by Edward I [City of London]
Whitehall, Whitehall Court, Whitehall Gardens and Whitehall Place – after the former Palace of Whitehall on this site, destroyed by fire in 1698 [Westminster]
Whitehaven Street – Broadley Street near here was formerly Earl Street, and the surrounding streets were given earldom-related names in the early 19th century; this was named for the Earls of Carlise and was originally Little Carlisle Street, later changed after Whitehaven, Cumberland [Lisson Grove]
Whitfield Place – after George Whitefield, prominent 18th century religious figure, who founded a tabernacle near here in 1756 [Fitzrovia]
Whitfield Street, W1 George Whitefield Builder of Whitefield’s Tabernacle, in the vicinity, in 1756
Whitgift Street – after John Whitgift, Archbishop of Canterbury 1583-1604, by connection with the nearby Lambeth Palace [Lambeth]
Whitgift Street, Croydon John Whitgift Archbishop of Canterbury (1583-1604)  lived at Croydon Palace, and is buried in Croydon Minster.
Whittaker Avenue, Richmond John Whittaker Ellis was the first Mayor of Richmond, who bought a building adjacent to the road which became the town hall
Whittaker Street – after its 1830 builder John Whittaker [Belgravia]
Whittington Avenue – after Richard Whittington, former Lord Mayor of London [City of London]
Wicklow Street – possibly from Wicklow in Ireland [Clerkenwell]
Widegate Street – thought to be after a gate that formerly stood on this street; formerly known as Whitegate Alley [City of London]
Wigmore Place – after Wigmore Castle in Herefordshire, seat of Edward Harley, 2nd Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer [Marylebone]
Wigmore Street – after Wigmore Castle in Herefordshire, seat of Edward Harley, 2nd Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer [Marylebone]
Wilberforce Road William Wilberforce British politician, a philanthropist and a leader of the movement to abolish the slave trade
Wilcox Place – after Francis Wilcox, local 19th century landowner [Westminster]
Wild Court – corruption of ‘Weld’, after Henry Weld who lived in Weld House on this site in the 17th century [Covent Garden]
Wild Street – corruption of ‘Weld’, after Henry Weld who lived in Weld House on this site in the 17th century [Covent Garden]
Wilfred Street – originally William Street, after Viscount Stafford, who lived in a house adjacent in the 17th century [Westminster]
William IV Street – named after William IV, reigning king when the street was laid out by John Nash in 1831 [Covent Garden]
William Barefoot Drive, SE9 Named for a prominent local politician, who was Mayor of Woolwich three times
William Morris Close, E17 William Morris spent his childhood at the nearby Water House, which is now the William Morris Gallery
William Mews and William Street – after William Lowndes of the local landowning Lowndes family [Belgravia]
William Road – after the later William IV, brother of the Prince Regent (George IV) [Regent’s Park]
Willoughby Highwalk – presumably after Sir Francis Willoughby, who is buried in the nearby St Giles-without-Cripplegate Church [City of London]
Willoughby Street – after GP Willoughy, mayor of Holborn Borough in the 1910s [Bloomsbury]
Willow Place – after the willow trees that were formerly common here [Westminster]
Wilmington Square and Wilmington Street – after local landowners (dating back to the 17th century) the Compton family, earls and later marquises of Northampton, who also had the title Baron Wilmington [Clerkenwell]
Wilton Crescent Mews, Wilton Place, Wilton Row, Wilton Street and Wilton Terrace – after local landowners the Grosvenors (titled Viscounts Belgrave); Eleanor Egerton was the wife of Robert Grosvenor, 1st Marquess of Westminster [Belgravia]
Wilton Crescent, SW1 Thomas Egerton, 2nd Earl of Wilton Second son of Robert Grosvenor, 1st Marquess of Westminster; the road forms part of the Grosvenor estate.
Wilton Road – this land was formerly part of the Grosvenor family Estate; Robert Grosvenor, 1st Marquess of Westminster married Eleanor Egerton, daughter of Thomas Egerton, 1st Earl of Wilton [Pimlico/Victoria]
Wimpole Mews – after Wimpole Hall in Cambridgeshire, seat of Edward Harley, 2nd Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer [Marylebone]
Wimpole Street – after Wimpole Hall in Cambridgeshire, seat of Edward Harley, 2nd Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer [Marylebone]
Winchester Square – after Winchester House, formerly the London house of the Bishop of Winchester [Southwark]
Winchester Street – this land was formerly part of the Grosvenor family estate; as the last of their lands to be developed they had seemingly run out of eponymous names from themselves, so they Winchester Walk – after Winchester House, formerly the London house of the Bishop of Winchester [Southwark]
chose various pleasant-sounding aristocratic titles, of which this is one [Pimlico/Victoria]
Windmill Street – after the windmill that formerly stood near here in the 18th century [Fitzrovia]
Windmill Walk – after the windmills formerly located here when it was countryside; formerly Windmill Street [Waterloo]
Windsor Place, SW1 – after the Windsor Castle pub located near to here
Wine Office Court – after an office here that granted licenses to sell wine in the 17th century [City of London]
Winnett Street – named after local business owner William Winnett in 1935; prior to this it was Upper Rupert Street [Soho]
Withers Place – after William Withers, 18th century property owner [Finsbury]
Woburn Place, Woburn Square, Woburn Walk and Upper Woburn Place – after Woburn Abbey, principal seat of local landowners the dukes of Bedford [Bloomsbury]
Woffington Close, KT1 Peg Woffington was ab 18th-century actress who performed in Teddington, near where the road is located.
Wood Street – as wood and fire logs were sold here as part of the Cheapside market [City of London]
Woodbridge Street – after Thomas Seckford, Elizabethan court official, who left land nearby in his will for the building of an almshouse; Sekford was born in Woodbridge, Suffolk [Clerkenwell/Finsbury]
Wood’s Mews – after Richard Wood, who built this street in 1731 [Mayfair]
Woodstock Mews – after William Bentinck, 2nd Duke of Portland, Viscount Woodstock [Marylebone]
Woodstock Street – after either Woodstock, Oxfordshire, location of to Blenheim Palace, home of John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, 17th – 18th century general [23] or Thomas Woodstock, 18th century builder [Mayfair]
Woolf Mews – presumably after the author and local resident Virginia Woolf [Bloomsbury]
Wormwood Street – after the wormwood formerly grown here for medicine [City of London]
Wren Road, SE5 The road was built on the grounds of a former house said to have been occupied by Sir Christopher Wren
Wren Street – after prominent architect Sir Christopher Wren [Clerkenwell/Finsbury]
Wrestler’s Court – after a former Tudor-era house here of this name [City of London]
Wyclif Street – after John Wycliffe, noted 14th century religious reformer; by association with the former nearby Smithfield Martyrs’ Memorial Church [Clerkenwell/Finsbury]
Wyndham Mews, Wyndham Street and Wyndham Yard – after Anne Wyndham, wife of local landowner Henry Portman [Marylebone]
Wynyatt Street – corruption of ‘Wynyates’; after local landowners (dating back to the 17th century) the Compton family, earls and later marquises of Northampton, who owned land at Compton Wynyates in Northamptonshire [Clerkenwell/Finsbury]
Wythburn Place – after Wythburn Fells, Cumberland, by association with the nearby Great Cumberland Place [Marylebone]
Yardley Street – after local landowners (dating back to the 17th century) the Compton family, earls and later marquises of Northampton, one of whom was born at Yardley Hastings, Northamptonshire [Clerkenwell/Finsbury]
Yarmouth Place – after Francis Charles Seymour-Conway, 3rd Marquess of Hertford, Earl of Yarmouth who lived near here in the 19th century [Mayfair]
York Bridge – after Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany, brother of the Prince Regent (George IV) [Regent’s Park]
York Buildings – a house was built on this site in the 14th century for the bishops of Norwich – in the reign of Queen Mary it was acquired by the archbishops of York and named ‘York House’; York Place was formerly ‘Of Alley’, after George Villiers [Strand]
York Gate – after Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany, brother of the Prince Regent (George IV) [Regent’s Park]
York Place – a house was built on this site in the 14th century for the bishops of Norwich – in the reign of Queen Mary it was acquired by the archbishops of York and named ‘York House’; York Place was formerly ‘Of Alley’, after George Villiers [Strand]
York Terrace East – after Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany, brother of the Prince Regent (George IV) [Regent’s Park]
York Terrace West – after Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany, brother of the Prince Regent (George IV) [Regent’s Park]
York Street – after Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany, brother of King George IV [Marylebone]
Yorkshire Grey Yard – named after a local inn of this name in the 18th century, presumably referring to the breed of horse [Holborn]
Young Street, W8 – Named for Thomas Young, developer of the area
Young’s Buildings, EC1 – after Francis Young, local 18th century property owner
Zoar Street, SE1 – after the former Zoar Chapel here, named for the Biblical Zoara

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