Britain’s most confusing village has motorists baffled because it can be spelt 26 ways

Trellech in Monmouthshire has caused havoc with tourists and delivery drivers struggling to find the sleepy village.

Maps, books and the internet have all offered up a range of spellings over the past 1,000 years.

And there are even five different names currently in use on road signs dotted around the picturesque village, which has a population of 2,500.

Roadsigns on the way in call it Trellech, Trelech, Trelleck, Treleck and Tryleg with barns and old maps spelling it Treleck and Trylegh.

Villager Stephanie Poulter, 72, said: "Sat-navs, Google Maps and Royal Mail all use the unofficial spelling of Trellech. No wonder people get lost.



How Trellech has left motorists spell-bound

The 26 different ways of spelling Trellech are:

Trellech, Trylec, Tryleg, Trylleck, Trelec, Trelech, Treleeck, Trelegg, Trelleg, Trellegg, Trellick, Trilec, Trileec, Trilegh, Trillec, Trilleck, Trillegh, Trillek, Trelleck, Tryled, Trilet, Treleck, Tryleghor, Trylec Bechan, Trilecc or Trillet.

It really is very confusing to an outsider.

"The Met Office uses the unofficial Trelleck, as does the Royal Mail.

"We sign off our letters with whatever spelling we want. It's fun."

Trellech is believed to be the only village in the UK that has four spellings still in use, with experts believing the different names were spread through word of mouth.




Other quirky Welsh place names

Pant y Wacco

Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch

Bullyhole Bottom

Tarts Hill

Pant-y-Felin Road

Three Cocks

Dylan Foster Evans, head of Cardiff University's School of Welsh, said: "Between the 13th and 17th centuries, there was simply no need to write words down in a consistent manner or formalise one correct spelling.

"Even common English words could have hundreds of different spellings, so leg might have been written legg or legge. There was no impetus to agree.

"Undoubtedly, there is confusion.

"Even the current English spelling (Trellech) seems in fact very Welsh, until you realise the double 'l' and the 'ch' are not pronounced the Welsh way.

"It's a little window on to how people thought of the village and I'm sure locals are proud of the variety."

Trellech boomed in the 13th century as an industrial city but 400 homes were burned to the ground following a dispute over deer poaching.



 

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