FROM Dummer to Hazeley Bottom, Basingstoke and Deane has many places bearing unusual, amusing, and interesting names.

When you live in a town for a long time, it’s easy to become immune to these quirks.

But if you’ve ever stopped to wonder how some of the more unusual places around the town got their names, here we look at the history behind them.


Think of Lychpit and many people will envisage a large housing area on the edge of Old Basing and Chineham.

While the estate was built in the 1980s, it has links to an ancient and gruesome past, which is thought to be where its name derives.

Lych or Lich is the Old English name for a corpse, and it is assumed that the area was some kind of mass burial ground associated with the Danish victory over Alfred’s Saxons at the Battle of Basing in 871.

Another possibility is it was used to bury casualties of the Battle of Basing House, where Oliver Cromwell’s troops laid siege in 1645.


If you look up the word ‘dumb’ in the dictionary, you’ll find a definition describing someone lacking intelligence or stupid.

Thankfully, the place Dummer wasn’t given its name to offend those who live there.

Instead, the name of the village is derived from Dun, meaning hill, and mer, a lake or pond.

It is thought that the English surname originates from the village, as the Dummer family were lords of the manor between the 12th and 16th centuries.

Little London

Little London is a village near Tadley, and its name is actually common for many villages in England.

It is thought to have its origins in the number of seasonal Londoners who would camp there for the harvest season.

Most places in England called Little London are around 50 miles from the capital, with some believing the name was given by settlers escaping the Great Plague of London in 1665.

Hazeley Bottom

Hazeley Bottom is in Hartley Wintney. But did you know that there are several hundred place names in England which also use the word ‘bottom’?

However, it has nothing to do with a person’s buttocks, instead referring to the Old English for broad river valley or valley floor.

While the name might have a more innocent meaning, it doesn’t stop us laughing at some of the places across Britain which have ended up sounding rather silly, from Scratchy Bottom in Dorset, to Flash Bottom in Staffordshire.