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>Many addresses are as simple as rose cottage, village, POST CODE, and there might be many 'rose cottages' in that postcode. //

This seems unlikely. In a small village people know the other house names enough to avoid a collision - in England I've a feeling Parish Councils used to keep order in this regard.

This page suggests that Local Authories legislate (bylaws I guess) on the allowed names: http://www.housenameheritage.com/hnh_extras_officialviewlong....

Quoting that link:

>"The Local Authority will liaise with the Royal Mail to ensure there is no conflict with names of other properties in the same street or immediate area, before formally registering the name. If there is a problem, an alternative name must be submitted. In some cases, the Local Authority may explore the possibility of a house number being registered at this point, in addition to (or instead of) the new name. Once the change has been approved, the Local Authority will normally advise relevant bodies such as the emergency services. The same procedure applies for brand new properties which, for whatever reason, cannot be numbered (however, virtually all new properties today are numbered)." //

It may seem unlikely, but that's the way it works (see better examples in the michaelt post above). Often postcodes cover more than one village, and there are thus duplicate street numbers or names. Some attempt is made to avoid clashes for new addresses, but there are plenty of existing ones. You need more than a postcode and number to identify an address, sometimes a street and/or village is also required.

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