Living in an area called Brockley, I noticed a lot of other places that use ‘ley’, and sometimes ‘leigh’ in their name. Turns out there are a ton of generic placename elements used all over the UK, usually derived from ancient languages. Often they refer to a geographical landmark. By understanding some of these terms, it’s possible to get a glimpse of what the area was like hundreds of years ago. Brockley means ‘a clearing by a brook’.