T'ooley Street

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Wednesday 27 February 2013 12.43pm
Ignore the below please-misread the original link completely.

I see from here:

That an old clay pipe has been dug up at London Bridge bearing the street name T'ooley Street. I never knew that the present name (Tooley Street) was an adaptation. Does anyone know anything more about the origins of this name? Is the spelling on the artefact correct for the time?
Wednesday 27 February 2013 12.52pm
Still a pretty interesting find, especially the courtyard remnants. The pipe inscription reminds me of the plaques in the St John's churchyard, some of which make reference to people dead for well over 200 years.
Wednesday 27 February 2013 1.00pm
The quotation mark is positioned where it is because the T of Tooley is missing from the fragment of the pipe shown in the picture.

There is no suggestion that the street was called T'ooley Street with an apostrophe after the first T.

I've amended the caption slightly because the pipes actually refer to Tooly Street and Joiners Street rather than the Tooley Street and Joiner Street spellings used today.

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Wednesday 27 February 2013 2.14pm
I read somewhere that apparently T'ooley Street is a corruption of Saint Olaves. Quite how it got there I don't know.
Thursday 28 February 2013 12.59am
spych102 wrote:
I read somewhere that apparently T'ooley Street is a corruption of Saint Olaves. Quite how it got there I don't know.

James explained how an apostrophe appeared in the present context, so I'm posting to try and answer spych102's question about how the name 'Tooley Street' - without apostrophe - arose.

In his 2001 book Southwark Past Richard Tames discusses the role King Olaf of Norway is said to have played in an 11th Century battle at London Bridge, according to a 13th Century Icelandic work called The Olaf Saga.

Tames goes on to explain how Olaf was commemorated on this street near the bridge foot, first at the former St. Olave's Church ('Olave' being the anglicised version of Olaf), then at the Art Deco St. Olaf building which now occupies the site of the old parish church.

The author continues: "Tooley Street itself derives from a severed corruption of the battling king's sainted name - by 1506 it was known as 'Seynt olyffes strete' ". (p. 12).

In a completely different setting, I think something similar happened with the ancient name 'Hospital Fields' - which has come down the centuries to us as Spitalfields.
Thursday 28 February 2013 2.23am
Great answer, Lionel. My ear could hear how St Olaf's St might become T[']ooley St but there's the explanation.

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