WYRE Piddle has been placed firmly on the map after appearing in a new book which charts the historical background to the country's most unusual place names.

The village has appeared in the Penguin Dictionary of British Place Names, a book launched last week which traces the roots of more than 10,000 places around the country.

Catherine Hammond, a village resident, has already published a book on Wyre Piddle and knows all about its historical background.

She spent more than a year researching the name Wyre Piddle and all elements of village life to publish Wyre Piddle - The Passing Years in 1972.

She was inspired to look into the village's background after a talk on local history at a Women's Institute meeting and set about researching how the name evolved from Pidele in the Doomsday Book to Wyre Piddle today.

The village name came about from an amalgamation of the name of Piddle Brook and the weir, developed into Wyre, where it joined the River Avon.

The name Wyre Piddle came into existence in 1603 but many wanted the Piddle dropped and the village to be known as Wyre.

"We always used to call it Wyre because Piddle was rude," Catherine said.

Her family has lived in the area for centuries but Catherine's roots were firmly cemented when a relative opened the village shop in 1840.

She often visited Wyre Piddle as a child to see her relatives and finally moved to the village from the south coast during the war.

"My old roots made me interested in the history," she said. "I didn't write the book to make a profit and it was a lot of hard work, I couldn't do it now."

Catherine, who also wrote a booklet on the history of St Anne's Church which is sold in the church, said she was worried that newcomers to the village were not aware of the history that surrounds them.

Parish councillor John Timms said renowned features like the 250-year-old serpentine walls were being left to decay because there were not enough funds available to repair them.

He said he has, as yet, received no help from grant-making bodies outside Wychavon and if there was enough support and passion for the village's heritage from within the community, a village trust could be formed to take care of such matters.

Wyre Piddle residents could soon be reminded of the village's history if parish council chairman Gary Robinson continues work on a revised edition of Catherine's book.

Coun Timms said he has been helping Coun Robinson to examine more research material over the last few years which could eventually culminate in a new edition of the book.

Wyre Piddle has seen many changes in recent years, including a new bypass to divert traffic away from the village.

The Penguin Dictionary of British Place Names, written by Royal Geography Society fellow Adrian Room, is priced at £9.99 in bookshops.