The Lyme Maze Game

Daedalus escapes the maze


Universal Workshop



About street names:

There are Silver Streets in Lyme, Axminster, Chard, Honiton, Taunton, and probably other towns of the region. Lyme's Silver Street is the bud of the route out of the town northwestward. But then this road (designated as B 3165) becomes the Uplyme Road; and then after crossing the boundary into Uplyme it becomes Uplyme's Lyme Road; and then after the middle of Uplyme village it becomes Uplyme's Axminster road; and then it passes through Yawl and Burrowshot, where I'm not sure whether inhabitants call it the Lyme Road or the Uplyme Road or the Axminster Road or perhaps the Yawl or Burrowshot Road. The road has quite a unity of its own, is the cardinal road of a valley, deserves a name, has often to be referred to and would be more conveniently referred to if it had a name, so I'm calling it the Silver Road.

A public plaque (on the front of the Mariners Hotel) says that Silver Street is so called because it once led into a silva, Latin for "wood" or "forest". Seems unlikely: Lyme's Silver Street may have run out into woodlands as late as a couple of centuries ago, but Axminster's Silver Street is well inside the town. And it doesn't seem like English burghers to bandy classical references (" . . . sylvan glades . . .  selva oscura . . . "). I'd still like to know where "Silver Street" really comes from. Was it the street of moneylenders?

It's one of a small set of old street names that crop up in the towns of the southwest. Besides High Street (which Lyme and Axminster lack; Dorchester has High West Street and High East Street; Bridport has West Street and East Street) there is often a sort of alternative High Street called Fore Street (as in Seaton, Yarcombe, Winsham, Chard). And many towns have a Pound Street, and villages a Pound Lane, where farm animals were once impounded. (Were they stray animals as in a modern pound, or flocks waiting for the weekly market?)