A to Z of Windows – W is for Washington

Before driving into Yorkshire we stopped briefly at Washington Old Hall, another National Trust property and the ancestral home (allegedly) of George Washington of American Independence and First president of the USA fame.

It has to be said that the link is quite tenuous because George’s ancestors left Washington Old Hall almost a hundred years before he was born and he himself apparently confessed had little interest in genealogy or his English heritage.

I have said before that I always like to see how far a place name has travelled and not unsurprisingly there are a lot of Washingtons in the USA and thirty States have a place named after the town in Tyne and Wear or, more likely of course, the first President of the USA.

Restricting the statistics to cities, towns and villages, in the USA there are thirty-six called Washington, thirty-four called Franklin (after Benjamin Franklin), twenty-six called Clinton (after DeWitt Clinton, Governor of New York 1825-28), twenty-one called Arlington (no explanation) and, this might surprise some people, twenty-one called Lebanon, apparently because (don’t quote me on this) Lebanon is a Biblical reference, and as Christian missionaries first settled across the US they named their new towns after names that inspired them.  There were also a significant number of immigrants from Labanon entering USA in the late nineteenth century.

We spent a very pleasant hour or so at Washington Old Hall and as we finished with a cup of tea and a slice of cake in the café I did some final reckoning up and was happy to find that we had fully recovered the cost of National Trust membership and we had a full year ahead of us to make a tidy profit.



25 responses to “A to Z of Windows – W is for Washington

  1. Good to know you’re getting your money’s worth from your membership


  2. I’ve always been very surprised how many towns worldwide have been named after Woodville where I grew up, for saying it was a mining village of only 3,000 people.


  3. I always find it annoying that when I Google Ripon-something-or-other, it’s always Ripon USA that comes up. It’s less than half the size of ‘our; Ripon, and its only claim to fame is as the apparent birthplace of the Republican Party. You can see why I’m annoyed.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The ending with the tea and cake and promise of a bit of profit was a nice ending
    And enjoyed the history for W


  5. We don’t have enough local NT properties to make it profitable – but much of the New Forest is owned by the trust – and that costs nothing.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. There are 3 Isle of Wights in the USA, in Maryland, Virginia and Georgia. I remember many years ago having trouble trying to post something home from France when they couldn’t find Isle of Wight, UK. More surprising to me was finding so many N. Ireland place names in NSW, especially street names in Sydney. Probably from the troublesome rebels exported to Australia under the guise of criminals.


  7. I enjoy your history lessons.


  8. I have been told by an uninformed expert that maybe the reason for Lebanon being popular is that many North American trees look a bit like the Cedars of Lebanon.


  9. Lots of Glasgows about the place too. Probably all pronounced to rhyme with cow!


  10. Funny I thought about how the name had traveled as soon as you mentioned Washington, and then that is exactly what you talked about! I think you are right to be dubious about the link between the supposed ancestral home and the first President of the US. Especially if the man wasn’t interested in his own links. But I would love to visit the Washington Old Hall in its own right because it is absolutely beautiful. An excellent choice to showcase the windows!


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