Street name clusters

On my day off yesterday we sauntered down to Jaycar in Cheltenham for electronic gadget goodness. I noticed looking at the map beforehand that a bunch of the streets are named after newspapers: Argus St, Herald St, Age St, Times St. No Sun St that I could see.

There are plenty of clusters of street names about the place. Some of the others that spring to mind include:

MurrumbeenaMurrumbeena has streets named after Australian cities — Brisbane St, Perth St, Adelaide St, Sydney St, Melbourne St, Hobart Rd.

Elwood/St Kilda — lots of writers and poets: Tennyson St, Dickens St, Milton St, Chaucer St, Wordsworth St, Shakespeare Gv, Shelley St, Byron St, Mitford St, Southey St… and of course Poets Gv. There’s probably a few others around there that more cultured persons than me might recognise, too.

Elwood near the beach: Spray St, Tide St, Beach Av, Wave St, Foam St. Maybe Docker St as well?

Caulfield South, around the area once called Camden Town, formerly occupied by a camp site for timber workers — Olive St, Poplar St, Birch St, Cedar St, Sycamore St, Larch St, Almond St, Teak St, Beech St, Maple St. Would Jasmine and Filbert count too?

Perhaps this sort of thing saved time when large numbers of streets had to be named, and it might save agonising over who in a local community should get a street named after them and who shouldn’t.

Thankfully most of them are more imaginative than what they ended up with in Parkdale: First St, Second St, Third St, Fourth St, Fifth St, Sixth St, Seventh St, Eighth St. Then they threw caution into the wind and made the last couple in the group Bethell Av and Stewart Av.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

29 replies on “Street name clusters”

we’re in a similar cluster of Maori street names in East Brunswick – Temuka, Timaru, Waihi, Taranaki, Akeora, Orari, Pareora …

I don’t know if it applied everywhere in Melbourne, but I remember reading an article in the paper years ago about how streets were named and that in most cases it comes down to housing estates. What we see now on the outskirts of the city with places such as Caroline Springs, except you go back in time to when the streets in question were the outskirts.

From what I remember of the article the developer of the estate will plan it out and would usually use a scheme for their street names. The council would the approve/deny the plan, with one aspect being the street names and whether there was a conflict with an existing street in the area.

Recently I was reading through the history of the City of Monash and the section on subdivision ( talks about companies such as AV Jennings and Lend Lease Homes, and the estates that they built – the names of which are unlikely to have any meaning to those currently living in them.

I find it interesting that today you see continuous blocks of residential streets, but it’s only when you look at the names or sometimes the layout that you can see some kind of grouping.

Some others around …
An estate in Glen Waverley between High Street Road and Highbury Road has a very medieval theme:
King Arthur Dr, Herald Ct, Squire Ct, Champion Cr, Excalibur Ave, Shield Ct, Guinevere Pde, Vigil Ct, Legend Av, Crusader Cr, Quest Ct, Jousting Pl, Chivalery Av, Grail Ct, Galahad Cr, Valiant Ct, Lancelot Cr, Banner Ct, Castle Ct, Camelot Dr, Armour Cl

Not far away, near Burwood Hwy and Springvale Rd is an aviation themed estate: Boeing Ct, Dehaviland Av, Viscount Way, Ansett Cr

Planets are the theme in Caulfield South near Hawthorn Rd, on the old Rosstown Railway alignment: Jupiter St, Saturn St, Venus St, Mars St, Mercury St.

There’s an area in Hawthorn that used to be owned by a bloke called Urquart. Funnily enough it was named the Urquart Estate. He had the privilege of naming the streets and some of them are named after his sons. If you look at the area near Swinburne you can see them. William Street is one.

Here very close to us we have a cluster of poets (Shakespeare Road, Milton Road and Francis Road, the latter I think as “Bacon Road” didn’t sound too attractive!).

Not too far away, in another bit of Smethwick we have an antipodean pair, too(Auckland Road, Brisbane Road).

Birmingham insists on some sort of realt local connection with new road names and no longer allows them to be named after any person, living or dead.

Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire on the other hand names its roads after its war dead, which I admire very much. (Developers apprently don’t like this at all, which is another reason to like it!)

I grew up in Deer Park and only found out recently that the streets in a certain area are all Scotland/UK and surrounds local town names, eg Dumfries, Welwyn.
I’ve noticed a flock of bird names in some streets in Werribee/Hoppers Crossing.
I think it’s quite common place to have street names named in a similar vein. I like some you’ve listed here, and other in the comments. That area in Glen Waverley is quite original! King Arthur and all.

Streets in Balaclava (hah!) are named after the battles, people and places in the Crimean War: Sebastopol, Balaclava, Alma, Inkerman, Chusan, Westbury, Malakoff, etc. Almost every street has some connection. The crimean war was in the mid 1850s so when this suburb was built (c. 1870s) it would have been relatively recent history. See,_Victoria for more on this.

In my area is a new estate which was called Chardonnay Views, with streets called Merlot, Semillon, Pinot and Rhine, somehow mixed up with streets called Kane, Shadi and Natalie.

I once did some work for a housing developer with an estate in Melbourne’s western suburbs. Their thinking about street names was driven by marketing. They used names of streets that are prestigious elsewhere, to try to position their development as better than their competitors – and to, of course, try to attract a higher price.

Dave, thats true – a story I once read in the local rag was that back in the early 1970s Oliver Hume had a little trouble selling new homes out south east at a new estate called Doveton North. As a response they remarketed the estate with new areas having underground power, streets named after explorers and other significant people of early Australin history, e.g. James Cook Dr, Matthew Flinders Ave, Thomas Mitchell Dr, William Hovell Dr, Joseph Banks Cr and so on. The result is known today as the suburb ‘Endeavour Hills’. The earlier ‘Doveton North’ subdivision is loacted at the western end, near Power Road and Heatherton Road

a new development in Albany has all planet names – but thankfully missed out Uranus … who would want to quote their address as 57 Uranus street??

I’m surprised my good friend Andrew S didn’t bring up the cluster of street names in our own suburb of Dandenong North- in a commission housing area, there are streets named after our Prime Ministers: Menzies Ave, Fadden St, Curtin Cr, Chifley Cr, Hughes Cr, Deakin Cr, Fisher Cr, Reid Ct, Lyons Ct, Watson St. Not a real Prime Ministerial area, but obvious nonetheless! I don’t know if Andrew knows the history behind this, or if he’s already mentioned it to me before, but I’m sure he’ll have something on it- he knows EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!!!

We live on Railway crescent…which (for most of it) runs parallel to the railway line…

None of the other streets around us seem to be in any group!! How boring!

New 80s housing estate Delahey (between Sydenham & St Albans) has streets named after English poets. The visionary school council decided to name the local school Mackellar PS after Dorothea (My Country). And tracked down her nearest living relative to invite to the opening.

Just across Burwood Hwy from Andrew S’s King Arthur cluster is the site of the former Vermont Winery and street names such as Great Western Dr, Barossa ave, Minchinbury Dr, Chablis Cr, Coonawarra Dr, Yalumba Crt and a few others which I’m sure are wine references. The local kids throw squished grapes at your car if you get on their bad side.

Street names with a theme are not only popular here but in the USA as well. Miami is more boring with few named streets. Most of the “streets” which run east-west and the “avenues” which run north-south are numbered. Some of the streets have a number, name, and a route number too and this is sometimes confusing. Some streets curve a bit and have the same name and route but aquire a new number to corispond to he part of the grid they are following. They all have quadrants too so an address can be located in northeast, southeast, northwest, and southwest. All of the address numbers corispond to the street numbers so any address can be plotted on a map or even in your head and this was handy when I delivered bread for a bakery. I often only needed the address and not a map to find a new customer. However if you ever got a street mixed up with an avenue or northwest mixed up with northeast you could wind up in a very different part of town. I now live in St. Kilda and a street nearby to me is Crimea St. It has been renamed Crime St. by someone who has spray painted over the “a” in Crimea at both ends of this street.

In the American West, most of the towns were laid out every five to ten miles along land-grant railroads. Street names were generally picked from sets, and were quite often tree names, which were frequently alphabetized (ash, birch, cedar, dogwood, elm). This despite the lines struck out across the vast prairie and there was nary a tree in sight.

Other American examples—especially in the midwest where most towns were built on flat open land and developed easy grids—include presidents (in order of their presidency) and alphabetization which can go on for miles—in Minneapolis the street names go from A to Z nearly three times as they drone on in to the suburbs.

In newer areas, entire subdivisions have streets with themed names, sometimes all starting with the same letter. 150 years later, street-naming conventions are pretty much the same.

I bought a house down in a new estate in Narre Warren South named Strawberry Fields – on McCartney Drive – with several other Beatles related streets nearby – Jude Pl, Lennon Crt, Tangerine Drive and Norwegian Way.

Here in the west we also have the boring number idea (First through Seventh Avenues in Altona North), and some other discernible themes – I live in a court named with a native plant name, as are all the surrounding courts and roads in our little cul de sac. Oh, we also have aeroplane-themed street naming nearby thanks to two RAAF bases ;-)

In the new Waverley Park development, quite appropriately as it turns out, the streets have somewhat of a sporting theme. Lords, Southampton, Liverpool, Old Trafford, Trentbridge, Centurion, Tottenham.

Obviously there must have been an Essendon-supporting land developer doing business out in Berwick in the mid 80’s, because there is a cluster of streets in that area all named after Essendon stars of the time. (Merv) Neagle, (Tim) Watson, (Simon) Madden, (Kevin) Walsh, (Paul) Van Der Haar, (Frank) Dunnell, (Alan) Ezard, (Billy) Duckworth, (Garry) Foulds & (Terry/Neale) Daniher all featured on the names of Avenues, Closes, Courts, Gardens and “Retreats”

In Cheltenham, between Warrigal Rd and where DFO is, there’s a patch of floral themed streets – Gardenia Cres, Willow Ave, Hibiscus Ave, Gardenia Cres, Camelia Gr, Ash Crt, Lotus Crt, Jacaranda Ave, Azalea Crt, Maple Crt. Oddly, smack in the middle of that is Callaghan Crt. Maybe Mr Callaghan was in charge of naming these street and took that one for himself?

Regards ‘Elwood/St Kilda — lots of writers and poets’…

I live in Mozart Street, St Kilda, explain that!

Reservoir: appropriately, streets with Victorian river names (Rubicon, Yarra, Wimmera, Acheron, Goulburn, Barwon)

Kingsbury: near the Bundoora Golf Course, Bunker St, Driver St, Wedge St, The Fairway, Bunker Ave, etc

Doncaster: Ancient Greek theme: Andromeda Way, Artemis Ct, Olympus Drive, Antigone Court

North of Goldsworth Rd, Corio, Geelong: lots of Victorian river names
South of Goldsworth Rd, Corio, Geelong: lots of American state names

Heidelberg West: salute to WWII, especially the Papua campaign: Lae St, Tobruk Avenue, Gona St, Wewak Pde, Kokoda St, Morotai Parade, Alamein Rd

Likely to be plenty of others out there. Good subject!!

Singapore is worse.

Let’s pick, at random, the suburb of Tampines.

You drive there on the Tampines Expressway, and when you get there there’s Tampines Grove and Tampines Central. That’s not the hard part.

The hard part is… which Tampines Street do you want? There’s Tampines Street 1, Tampines Street 2, Tampines Street 3… all the way up to Tampines Street 91. (Not a typo – there are ninety-one Tampines Streets.) Or did you mean Tampines Avenue? There’s Tampines Avenue 1, 2, 3, at least as far as Tampines Avenue 10.

And you can’t avoid it by staying out of the suburbs. In the downtown core, there’s Raffles Place, Raffles Boulevarde, Raffles Quay, Raffles Link and Raffles Avenue… Sir Stamford Raffles really got his money’s worth when he stepped off the boat and said “I claim this land for Britain etc etc”.

Sydney has George, York, Kent, Clarence and Sussex Streets — named after the King and the four ducal titles traditionally given to members of the Royal Family.

Filbert (hazelnut) definitely counts :)
Here in Canberra, the whole suburb has streets named after a theme. Ironically, the suburb Duffy that was decimated in the 2003 fires is named after Australian dams and reservoirs…

Aspley in Brisbane. Obviously, someone was short of imagination when the streets were on the drawing board and called them A,B,C, D and E, with the result that they are now Arcola, Beira, Clement, Devona and Eustace.

Oh, and Brisbane city streets are named after royalty, with Queens running east-west and Kings running north-south.

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