Ridgeway is named after Bishop Frederick Edward Ridgeway who was the Bishop of Salisbury from 1911 until 1921.
The National Portrait Gallery has pictures of him here: Frederick Edward Ridgeway (1848-1921), Bishop of Salisbury.
Sadly I don’t know very much at all about Bishop Ridgeway, apart from the following bits of trivia.
Bishop Ridgeway and Thomas Hardy catching a cold
In Michael Millgate’s book ‘Thomas Hardy’s Public Voice: The Essays, Speeches, and Miscellaneous Prose’, , Mr Millgate reports that Thomas Hardy attended the opening of the Swanage War Memorial Children’s Hospital in October 1919.
Thomas Hardy subsequently caught a cold, and his wife Florence complained that this was because he had to ‘make a little speech of thanks to the Bishop, and also to stand with his hat off in a cold N.E.[North East] wind while the Bishop prayed’
Hardy later spoke of the weather as afflicting the ‘overworked and worthy’ Bishop Ridgeway.
Bishop Ridgeway on the status of women
According to Ruth Newman’s article in the 2002 Sarum Chronicle , Bishop Ridgeway spoke about the changed role of women during the First World War.
At a 1915 meeting at the Bishop’s Palace, the bishop said that many women would have been amazed at the occupations that they had taken up. He wondered whether they would want to ‘go back to those quieter paths in which they had worked before’
Ridgeway Road – named after the Bishop rather than a Ridgeway
Finally on Bishop Ridgeway, I’m fairly confident that Ridgeway Road is named after him.
The obvious alternative is that its named in reference to the hill that Ridgeway Road is on – the hill is very much like a ‘ridge’.
However, as far as I know the hill is not known as ‘the Ridgeway’ – it’s old name was actually ‘Mizmaze Hill’.
More persuasively still, perhaps, are the names of the surrounding roads – Moberly, Donaldson and Wordsworth were all Bishops of Salisbury.
- Thomas Hardy’s Public Voice: The Essays, Speeches, and Miscellaneous Prose By Thomas Hardy, Michael Millgate Contributor Michael Millgate Published by Oxford University Press, 2001 ISBN 019818526X, 9780198185260 [↩]
- Sarum Chronicle : the history of Salisbury and its district. Issue 2, 2002 Published East Knoyle, Hobnob Press, 2002 ISBN 0946418098 [↩]