The Square, a popular name for retail centres in Surrey Heath

The Camberley Eye has asked me, in a comment on this blog,

How well do you feel the name “reflects the history of the area”?

Before I respond, I note that while Surrey Heath Borough Council re-branded  Camberley’s The Mall to The Square, Lightwater too has The Square as it’s retail centre, as does Bagshot also with The Square.

It might, therefore seem a sensible choice for Camberley, to follow Bagshot and Lightwater, both of whom have regular village events in their village Square’s.

Now, back to Camberley Eye’s question. My first reaction to The Square for Camberley is it’s unadventurous. Perhaps I’m being too critical, after all there’s a Square at the centre of the shopping centre.

Farnborough’s covered shopping areas are Princes Mead, and The Meads. Bracknell’s new shopping complex is The Lexicon, Reading has its Oracle shopping centre, and Woking has The Peacocks. Windsor has two, King Edward Court and Windsor Royal.

Apart from Windsor’s shopping centre names having royal connections, I’m unaware of the significance of the names of the other shopping centres.

Therefore, in answer to Camberley Eye, Camberley’s The Square though prosaic, is perfectly adequate. It does have the benefit of fitting in with our military heritage, where the square is a military parade and drill area.

2 thoughts on “The Square, a popular name for retail centres in Surrey Heath

  1. Thank you for that. But there has been a lot of ‘square-bashing’ elsewhere in the social media in the last couple of days – nothing to do with the Eye. Just look at the borough council’s own Facebook page. It’s almost inevitable that there’ll be some criticism; that’s life. But public reaction to the new Lexicon in Bracknell has been largely positive, so the change of name in Camberley has been mishandled. It was a wonderful opportunity to involve the public, and to come up with a name that was clearly relevant. (The only explanation for the name that I’ve seen from the council’s Executive is that the shopping centre used to be called Main Square – the name is in one of the centre’s mosaics – and the shopping centre is square in shape. So the military connection doesn’t seem to be the ‘official’ story.)


  2. We all know it as the Mall so why muck about with it. Certainly the LA should not pay consultants to come up with a new name . Just the sort of wastefulness one comes to expect.


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