SHITTERTON in Dorset has been voted the most unfortunate place name in the country.

The hamlet, near Bere Regis, beat off Dorset rival Scratchy Bottom, a cliff-top valley near Chaldon Herring, in a poll of over 1,700 people to discover the most embarrassing place names in the United Kingdom.

With Happy Bottom, near Corfe Mullen, also sneaking into the top ten to make it three Dorset entries, the county can claim to be the home of unfortunate names.

They are joined in the top ten by the likes of Brokenwind in Aberdeenshire, Crackpot in North Yorkshire and Ugley in Essex.

The survey was carried out by genealogy website, which aimed to highlight the unlikely places people can discover their ancestors came from.

Family historian Debra Chatfield said: “In the course of researching their family history people can discover that their ancestors came from somewhere with an unlikely, unfortunate or downright embarrassing name..

“Some people are unsettled to discover that their forebears came from somewhere called, say, Crackpot, Ugley or Happy Bottom.

“It can puncture the magic of making a genealogical discovery.”

She added: “Dorset is definitely the top county for unfortunate place names, with three in the top ten.”

Blacksmith Eddie Butterfield, who has lived in Shitterton for more than 30 years, said that local residents were used to their hamlet coming top of these types of polls and he personally welcomed the extra interest it created.

He said: “I think it’s quite interesting and, particularly in the summer time, we get a lot of visitors coming down and we have got a new stone sign so people like to have their photo taken with it.

“I think the media interest in the place is positive and I would have thought the majority of us here are quite happy with it.

“It’s quite a close community down here and I think everybody is quite used to the interest.”

She said: “We have five pages of Shitterton residents in the 1841 census.”