London is so good, they named some of it twice.
We've all done it. "One ticket to Hayes, good sir," we chirp at the conductor, then recline with our pipe and paper, only to pull into the wrong ruddy Hayes. See, there's Hayes in Hillingdon — and another Hayes in Bromley. Both have the same etymology, from the Anglo-Saxon hoese (land overgrown with shrubs/brushwood). Hillingdon's Hayes is getting a new Crossrail station; Bromley's is not. Maybe that's how we distinguish them from now on.
Divided by the Thames
Gallions Reach is the name of the stretch of the Thames between Woolwich and Barking Creek, and it lends its name to areas on both banks; while you'll find Gallions Reach DLR to the north of the river, Gallions Reach urban village is to the south. You might assume the name has something to do with ships, but it actually comes from the Galyons, a family who owned property around here from the 14th century.
Nearby Woolwich is similarly cleaved into north and south by the Thames.
Arsenal FC started out as Dial Square in 1886, later changing their name to Woolwich Arsenal — after the Royal Arsenal where the players worked. In 1913 they moved to a site near Gillespie Park, Highbury, subsequently becoming THE Arsenal. It took 29 years for Gillespie Road tube to be re-monikered into Arsenal, officially putting a second 'Arsenal' on the London map.
Millwall FC, meanwhile have moved around more times than they've won FA Cups (they've moved four times, and never won the FA Cup). The latest move, to The Den in 1993, took them off the Isle of Dogs to Bermondsey, sometimes referred to, and mistaken for Millwall — even though it's about an hour's walk from Millwall proper.
All this makes us wonder if one day, the Olympic Park will be known as West Ham.
A common mistake to those who first visit London; Bromley-by-Bow in Tower Hamlets has nothing to do with London's other Bromley, about 10 miles further south. Well, they do share the same etymology — the Anglo-Saxon for 'woodland clearing where broom grows' (man, those Anglo-Saxons lacked imagination). It wasn't until 1967 that Bromley station in the East End was renamed Bromley-by-Bow, presumably because TfL was tired of redirecting irate passengers. Speaking of which...
While we're in Bromley-by-Bow, let's not forget that deceptive DLR stop called Abbey Road, and the countless times it's been the bane of an international Beatles fan's day out. If you think we're undermining the nous of tourists, here's a sign TfL made:
While there are two Abbey Roads in London, Church Road and High Street appear the most in the capital. That said, these often come affixed with the name of the place they're in, so are hardly original. In which case, Station Road might just be the most duplicated name in the capital — we count 33 of them.