You can’t keep an average historian down

I (fortunately) had yesterday off to do homeowner-y things (and go shopping underneath Torchwood Tower; known to the non-geek world as Canary Wharf. Finally, trousers that fit!) and got round to registering with a doctor. And the nearest reasonable surgery to me is on Morley Road. Yup. Morley. Can’t get away from the fucker.

I have a theory that this is not as co-incidental as it might seem. From what I remember from my GCSE History ‘Local Study’, I think there’s a genuine connection between the town of my upbringing and my current residence. Are you sitting comfortably? Then let the historian begin to sift the evidence.

Vast swathes of Morley used to be owned by the Earl of Dartmouth, who also holds the title of Viscount Lewisham (are you ahead of me yet?). In Morley there are two main parks, Dartmouth Park and Lewisham Park; further evidence of the foundations of the place. The Earl of Dartmouth also owned another village in Yorkshire, called Slaithwaite (pronounced, I recall, and if Mr Bardsley wasn’t making it up, “Slawitt”). And look here, what do we have in Lewisham? Slaithwaite Road, coming off Morley Road. I’m going to take a leap here and say that I presume this land also once had very strong ties to the Earl. (Oh, apparently Dartmouth Park in Highgate also used to belong to him. Can’t bloody swing a cat without it throwing up on something he once owned.)

So, if I’m right, I’ve just moved 200 miles and taken seven years to go between different sections of the same aristocratic estate.

Who said feudalism was dead?

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