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Honouring the birthplace of Captain Myles Standish

Exemplar Award Winner- Highly Commended NLPG NSG Exemplar Award ‘Naming Award’ 2010: Chorley Borough Council

The naming and numbering of streets and buildings within Chorley, Lancashire is a Statutory Function of Chorley Borough Council. The council is the only organisation with the authority to allocate new or amended names and numbers and has strict guidelines for the selection of accurate, appropriate and respectful names.

In accordance with national guidelines, names of new roads should, where possible, reflect the history or geography of a site or area; they should not be duplicated within the administrative area; not be difficult to pronounce or spell; not be construed as advertising or have the potential to cause offence; and not be named after a living person.

The Eaves Green Link Road was a major scheme to facilitate the flow of traffic across the southern area of Chorley, re-routing traffic away from the congested town centre. Connecting Bolton Road in the east and the Eaves Green area of Chorley at Lower Burgh Way to the west, the road passes through an area of Chorley called Duxbury. Following a suggestion from a local historian, it was decided to honour an historically important former resident of the area. The road was named Myles Standish Way to reflect his long standing family ties with the area.

Outcomes

The link road was constructed along the original boundary between the Manors of Duxbury and Chorley, falling, in the main, on the Duxbury side on land once owned by the Standish family. The Standish family lived in Chorley from 1300 to 1623 (although probably originated from the nearby township of Standish) and built the Elizabethan Hall, thought to be the birthplace of Myles Standish, probably the most famous member of the family, in the centre of the manor circa 1600.

Myles Standish was an English Military Officer hired by the Pilgrim Fathers as Military Advisor for the Plymouth Colony. A passenger on the Mayflower on arrival in the ‘New World’, he played a leading role in the administration and defence of the settlement from its inception. In 1621, Standish was elected as first commander, a position he was re-elected to for the rest of his life; he also served as an agent of the Plymouth Colony in England, as assistant governor and as treasurer. He was one of the first settlers and founders of the town of Duxbury, Massachusetts.

Several towns and military installations have been named after Standish and monuments have been built in his memory. These include the Myles Standish Monument in Duxbury, the second tallest to an individual in USA, surpassed only by the Washington Monument, and a smaller monument at the alleged site of the Captain’s grave.

Streets within a new development in the area of the link road are also named along the same theme and include Pilgrim Drive, after the name commonly applied to the early settlers of the Plymouth Colony, and Mayflower Gardens, named after the ship that transported the Pilgrims to Massachusetts. Allerton Close, Bradford Avenue, Chilton Mews, Minter Close, Sampson Close and Winslow Place were all named after passengers on the original Mayflower during its trans-Atlantic voyage in 1620.

Although no conclusive evidence has been found to definitively link Myles Standish to Duxbury Manor and, therefore, Chorley, local baptism records at Chorley Parish Church indicate this was possible, and the man himself provided further support by naming his parcel of land ‘Duxbury’ when the communal farm in the ‘New World’ was dissolved.

Key benefits

  • Effective traffic relief for Chorley town centre and completion of the southern and western town bypass
  • Suitable, viable public transport route and alternative access for residents and emergency service vehicles
  • Remembrance of an international, historically significant former resident of the Borough

View from the authority

“Myles Standish has an historical importance that exceeds local, regional or even national significance. He is already honoured and respected in his adopted home, Duxbury, Massachusetts, and so the opportunity to remember him in his probable place of birth seemed a fitting tribute.”

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