Many thanks to all those who have responded on Amyand, which
seems now to have been a surname, so presumably the "alma"
was a first name rather than the battle
This illustrates the difficulties of identifying placenames which are
considered too recent to appear in the EPNS volumes. For
example we were recently asked why there were so many places
in Norfolk called Malakoff. Having been assured by a certain Senior
Officer that this was a Russian politician circa 1910 I spent some
time consulting obscure biograhies before I discovered it was in
fact a French victory in the Crimean War.
Similarly near Norwich there is a wood called Ladas Plantation.
Ladas was the name of a Derby winner in the late 19th century, but
local people nowadays assure newcomers it takes its name from
the former storage of Russian cars there....
And believe it or not, Pasteur Road in Great Yarmouth was
originally called Pasta Road after a fast food factory, the spelling
was later changed by councillors who said it was undignified
Going back to Claudius and his elephants, I recall when I worked at
the BM many many years ago, Catherine Johns was always
adamant that the most reliable sources only said he considered
bringing elephants, not that he actually brought them. Of course,
about 15 years ago there was a paper in the London Archaeologist
magazine in which Nicholas Fuentes (ci-devant Nick farrant) argued
that the Elephant and Castle took its name from a fort where
Claudius kept the elephants