Mays, Mayes, Maize, Maze Hile, Hill
“Why is Maze Hill called so – presumably there was a maze since that would be in keeping with the royal park etc.”
The Phantom Replies:
Neil Rhind seems to disagree with Hasted – in that it was named after Sir Algernon, not Sir Robert May. But far more interesting to me is the theory that there was actually a maze – albeit rather a long way away. A turf maze – a bit like the one at Hall Place rather than a formal one like at Hampton Court. It was, apparently, on the site of today’s Wemyss Road – just round the corner from the main drag. It’s not really a direct route though, and it’s frankly a stretch for me – though I guess at a pinch it could commemorate the cutting of the maze…
It’s also spelled Maize Hill – though I’ve not heard that there were any plantations of corn around there in particular.
No – I’m going back to my friend’s theory in that our ancestors enjoyed the art of creativity in spelling. Mr May – whether Algernon or Robert – seems the most likely solution to me – it being originally “May’s Hill.”
I got told off for speculation yesterday and since I may as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb, I have one last thought to add. I have not heard or read this from anyone – it’s merely from my own ponderings. That since this was a pathway cutting the Park from the rest of the land and that one thing that the area was well-known for – especially in Henry VII’s time, was the abundance of May trees.
There was nothing Good King Hal and his “lusty bachelors” enjoyed more than setting off of a spring morning, and riding out towards Shooters Hill to gather may blossom, ‘ “caracolling” (I think this means singing rude songs) along the way and challenging each other to “feats of horsemanship,” according to Rev. LeStrange. Could that particular hill have enjoyed a particularly spectacular display of blossom?
I’ll be getting onto some of the intriguing buildings – and their occupants – of Maze Hill on other days…