The well known, weird and wonderful street names of Sheffield

Last Tuesday residents of Bell End in Wallaston, Northamptonshire, were left furious after their road sign was stolen. It is not the first time that the sign has gone missing with claims that it is taken at least once a year.

The street sign has a reputation as a bit of a tourist attraction in the local area with people often stopping to take photos with the sign or leaving stickers and other evidence of their visit.

Residents are however understandably annoyed with the theft of the sign, Christine Thurland, 80, told the BBC: “I don’t understand why anyone would want to do something so silly.”

In Sheffield we have a wealth of famous, infamous and downright funny road names. With a history going back almost 1,200 years there are many historical hangovers that just don’t translate into modern terms and some names that have taken on significance in modern times.

Below are of some of the more unusual names we could find:

Deadman’s Hole Lane

Located in Tinsley, this is definitely one of the stranger road names out there. It is unsurprisingly unique with this being the only road in the UK named Deadman’s Hole.

It looks as unappealing as its name but local reports suggest children still had to be told of a terrible accident on the road to dissuade them from exploring. Another local legend suggests the end of the road was once a mass Roman grave.

Warning Tongue Lane

Warning Tongue Lane is a road in Doncaster with a dark history. The road runs through what was formerly the Black Carr Plantation which was once known locally as Wailing Wood.

The name of the wood is linked with a tale still told locally of a carriage which overturned in fog on Warning Tongue Lane many years ago. A woman who died in the crash is said to haunt the woodland on foggy nights, even to this day.

Carsick Hill Road

Carsick Hill is the first entry in this list that has suffered from changes in our language. ‘Carsick’ is derived from ‘Carr’, meaning wet woodland and ‘Sick’ or ‘Syke’ meaning stream or valley.

Cockshot Lane

Cockshot Lane in Deepcar is another likely victim of some historical shifts in our language. The fact that there are three other streets named Cockshot Lane in Great Britain suggests it might have meant something less suggestible in the past.

Pocket Handkerchief Lane

Pocket Handkerchief Lane near Todwick is the only road in the UK with this unique name. Unfortunately there is no further information about its history.

Goosebutt Street

Goosebutt street is located in Rawmarsh in Rotherham. There is no information about its origin so I’ll leave this one to you guys.

As well as the amusing and unusual names, there are a lot of famous roads in Sheffield that have intriguing origins:

Leppings Lane

Leppings Lane is without a doubt one of the best known road names in Sheffield for those outside of the city. The name became infamous after the Hillsborough Disaster of 1989 where 96 people tragically lost their lives following a crush in the Leppings Lane end of Hillborough stadium.

While the name will forever be synonymous with the city in the minds of football fans its origins go way back into the 19th century. It is thought that at that time Leppings Lane was a simple dirt-path which had to cross the River Don. In order to get from one side to the other, you had to navigate the leaping Or ‘Lepping’ stones.

Bramall Lane

In the interest of balance maybe, but Bramall Lane has to be one of the best know street names in the city, lending its name to Sheffield United’s stadium.

The road was originally named after the Bramall family who were file and graver manufacturers in the area. The Bramalls also owned The Old White House on the corner of Bramall Lane and subsequently built the Sheaf House, now a pub which stands at the top of Bramall Lane. 

Barker’s Pool

Right in the heart of the city, Barker’s Pool is the site of the City Hall and a public square is recorded as being onthis location as far back as 1570. It was originally a collecting point for a number of natural springs and later developed into a major area for industry and retail.

The name Barker’s Pool may derive from a “Barker of Balme” mentioned in a deed dating from 1434. At this time the area, which was on the edge of town, was known as Balm Green which is believed to be a reference to the cultivation of herb lemon balm.


Everyone one who has visited Sheffield has ended up on Fargate at some point. Although not the most beloved of our city’s streets it has been the shopping hub for many years.

With Heart of the City II on the way the future of Fargate is unclear but its past is a little more simple. The word ‘gate’ was once synonymous with ‘way’ and this was simply a road known as ‘Far way’, no interesting gates involved.

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