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.


Major Settlement in the Parish of Hockliffe

Historical Forms

  • Hocganclif 1015 Thorpe
  • Hocheleia 1086 DB
  • Hoccliue, Hocclyue 1185 P 12th 1220 LS 1228 FF 1240 Ass 1242 Fees885 1276,1287 Ass 1291 NI 1302 FA 1388 Cl
  • Occliue 1227 Ass c.1370 Linc
  • Houclive 1247 Ass
  • Hoklyue, Hoclyue 1247,1276 Ass
  • Hocclyve al. Hoclyve 1324 Ipm
  • Oclyve 1346 FA
  • Hocklyve 1428 FA
  • Occleue c.1460 Linc
  • Hockley 1576 Saxton 1633 NQi
  • Hockley alias Hockley in the Hole 1675 Ogilby


'Hocga's cliff,' the church, which probably forms the nucleus of the original parish, standing on a steepish spur of land to the north-west of the present village. The latter well deserves its popular name of 'Hockley-in-the-Hole' for it lies along Watling Street in a well-marked depression, the road to the northwest rising from the village some 117 ft. in half a mile. It was famous for its robberies and must be distinguished from Hockley-in-the-Hole (of equally bad fame) in the Fleet valley in Clerkenwell.

Loss of final f is fairly common in p.n., cf. [jakli] and [kunzli], the local pronunciations of Aycliffe and Coniscliffe (Du), and v. PN NbDu 265. For the personal-name Hocg (a ), cf. Hoggeston (Bk) and Hoxton (Mx). The poet (H)occleve must have derived his name from this place.

Places in the same Parish

Early-attested site