Beacontree is correct

Interested in the recent debate about the pronunciation of Becontree . Your correspondent Jan Osbourne (letters page 11/11) says that there are two different words and thus pronunciations, stating that when the LCC built the huge Council estate called

Interested in the recent debate about the pronunciation of 'Becontree'. Your correspondent Jan Osbourne (letters page 11/11) says that there are two different words and thus pronunciations, stating that when the LCC built the huge Council estate called 'Becontree' this differed in not just spelling from 'Beacontree' and is a separate place name. That's not so.

The place name is originally 'Beacon Tree' as it's named literally after a large tree which was a meeting place and a local 'beacon'. The spelling without the 'a' though, dates back hundreds of years before the world's largest social housing estate was built here in the 1920s and '30s. However one chooses to pronounce (and history suggests it should be as "bee-contree" not "beckontree"), the fact is that the estate IS named after the exact same place name as 'Beacon Tree Heath' and there's no argument to pronounce the two differently.

Derek Barclay

Melford Avenue - Barking

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