BAFFLED local historians say they are puzzled and annoyed that Grime Street, at the bottom of Vale Street near Lidl in Darwen, has been renamed Garibaldi Terrace “out of the blue”.
The move was decided by Twin Valley Homes as part of its redevelopment of the area.
Harold Heys, who has written extensively on local history, said: “Garibaldi Terrace was a short row of houses at the bottom of Harwood Street.
“It would have been about 200 yards from Grime Street. I haven’t a clue why no-one asked for our advice.”
Ward councillor Dave Smith said developers had saved an old stone relief, engraved with ‘Garibaldi Terrace’ beneath a lion, when starting work on the Orchard Park development.
It was named in honour of Guiseppe Garibaldi, the Italian general and politician who in the 19th-century led the struggle to unify Italy.
Twin Valley Homes had claimed it was restoring Grime Street to its original name.
But, Mr Heys said Grime Street was built in the 1850s and was probably named after local businessman Thomas Grime, a paper manufacturer who lived at Heatherby, Astley Bank, and was mayor of Darwen in 1886/87.
Garibaldi Terrace was built in 1864.
Tony Foster, another local historian, lived at number 15 when he was younger.
He said: “I don’t recall ever noticing the stone, although you can still see it on Google Maps above number seven.
“We, and everyone else, reckoned we lived in Harwood Street.”
Mr Heys said: “Garibaldi Terrace would have been a whim of the original builders. Perhaps they had Italians roots.
“Garibaldi is a hero of mine. He had a great love of England. But he had nothing to do with Darwen.”
Researcher Phil Calvey said: ”It is all done and dusted now.
“The relief is on a house in Grime Street and it is probably too late to do anything. Perhaps next time someone will ask our advice.”
Coun Smith said: “The stone does appear to be in the wrong place, but at least it has been saved for posterity and is now part of the excellent Orchard Park development.”