English Place-name Society

Survey of English Place-Names

A county-by-county guide to the linguistic origins of England’s place-names – a project of the English Place-Name Society, founded 1923.

Napton on the Hill

Major Settlement in the Parish of Napton on the Hill

Historical Forms

  • Eptone, Neptone 1086 DB
  • Neptone c.1154 AD 1169,1176 P
  • Napton(e) 1173 ib
  • Napton(e) Boscheri 1401 IpmR
  • Napton(e) super montem 1502 ADv 1535 VE
  • Neapton 1199 FF
  • Napertona 1225 Bracton
  • Cnapton 1235 Fees
  • Cnapton (1235 Fees)


The form Cnapton (1235 Fees) and the promine hill here make it clear that Dugdale (223) is right in his comment, “This town stands upon a very eminent ascent, of which originally its name was taken, cnap in the British (sic) language signifying the same with gibbus or tuber , for such we know all Hills are in reference to the plains and flats whereon they stand: neither is the word in that sense yet worn out of use amongst us; for we commonly call the top or highest part of a notable ascent, the knap of a hill.” The old name for the inhabitants of Napton, viz. Cnæp -hǣme , survives in the minor names Nepemmeford , Nephembroc found in a fine of 1206 in the neighbouring parish of Southam. The brook is clearly the nameless brook which separates Southam and Napton from Myer Bridge southwards and the ford was probably at the present bridge. Cf. s. n. Stockton, Wormleighton and Kineton infra 146, 275, 282 and cf. further Glimhemwode (1273 RH) for Glimpton Wood (O).Henry Boscher held land in the adjacent parish of Ladbroke c. 1230 (Fees).