Holsworthy_rd2.jpg Holsworthy Road sign. Mike Gooch. Word on the Street image collection.

Holsworthy or Holdsworthy? The correct spelling of this Vogeltown street appears to have been the source of some confusion in the early days of European settlement. The two spellings were almost interchangeable until Holsworthy was settled upon. Newspapers, street directories and architectural plans have all been found to use both spellings.

An additional problem was that for many years Holsworthy Road had both an eastern end and a western section in distant Westown. Maps indicate that the intention was to merge the two sections, creating a link across town. It is likely, the steep Huatoki Valley led the New Plymouth Borough Council to reassess the proposal.

At some stage, the Westown segment of Holsworthy Road was renamed Clawton Street. This left the short street we know today near Pukekura Park as New Plymouth's only Holsworthy Road.

The name itself was chosen to acknowledge the birthplace of a number of settlers aboard the Amelia Thompson, the second of the Plymouth Company vessels to arrive in New Plymouth in September 1841.

The historic market town of Holsworthy is located in Devon, close to the Cornwall border on the River Deer, a tributary of the Tamar. The hilltop town has a history dating back hundreds of years; the Domesday Book records the village as part of the estate of Harold Godwinson.

The most recent population figure for the greater Holsworthy Town was recorded as 15,440. Just over 97 per cent of them identified themselves as "White British", an intriguing description in such a class-conscious society.

Locally the town is well known for its outdoor market each Wednesday, as well as for running one of the largest livestock markets in South-west England.

This story was originally published in the Taranaki Daily News.

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