Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Locals unfazed by embarrassing name

A number of rural idylls around the UK have names that may seem unfortunate nowadays but were perfectly normal hundreds of years ago

It is an idyllic hamlet based around a single street of picturesque thatched cottages in rural Dorset.

But however lovely Shitterton is, the tiny collection of homes on the edge of the village of Bere Regis has been named as Britain's most unfortunate place name in a new survey.

The tiny settlement between Dorchester and Poole beat the nearby valley of Scratchy Bottom, near Durdle Door in Dorset and Brokenwind in Aberdeenshire in the survey by www.findmypast.co.uk.

Shitterton is a very literal English translation of the village name recorded in Norman French in the 11th century Domesday Book as Scatera or Scetra which means a little town that is on the stream of a midden or sewer.

But Ian Ventham, chairman of Bere Regis Parish Council and proud Shitterton resident, said he does not find the name of the hamlet, with its long history, embarrassing.

"S**t is s**t. Let's not beat around the bush, that is where the name comes from," the retired RNLI director said. "But it isn't a midden or s**theap now. It is a perfect rural hamlet with thatched cottages and idyllic Dorset countryside. Those of us who live here are not the least bit embarrassed by it."

Shitterton hit the headlines in 2010 when residents got so fed up with pranksters stealing the standard road signs displaying the name that they clubbed together and bought a £680 one-and-a-half-tonne Purbeck stone version set in concrete.

According to the website, the valley of Scratchy Bottom is thought to take its name from the fact that it is a rough and rugged hollow.

Brokenwind was known as "Broken Wynd" in the 19th century, with wynd, the website said, a Scots word for a narrow path that snakes or winds between two larger roads.

Crapstone, a picturesque village on the western edge of Dartmoor in Devon, came forth in the survey of 1,773 people, ahead of Golden Balls in Oxfordshire, Ugley in Essex, Crackpot in North Yorkshire, Backside in Aberdeenshire, Great Snoring in Norfolk and Happy Bottom in Dorset.

Latest News

Latest Sport

Latest Showbiz