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.


Early-attested site in the Parish of Colebrooke

Historical Forms

  • (on) copelan stan 974 BCS1303
  • Copleaston 1275 RH
  • Copelaston 1281 Ass
  • Copeleston 1294 Ass
  • Coplestone 1384 Exon


(on ) copelan stan 974 BCS 1303, Copleaston 1275 RH (p), Copelaston 1281Ass (p), Copeleston 1294Ass (p), Coplestone 1384 Exon. Toller (BT Supplt s. n. copel ) suggests that we have here an OE  copel , 'unsteady, rocking,' found also as an element in the participial adj. coppling used in East Anglia in the same sense. The history of that word, however, is obscure and it may be that the earliest sense recorded in the NED 'swelling upwards' is the truer one, the later one developing owing to confusion with the word cockling used in the same sense. There was an OE  cop (p ), 'top, summit,' from which may have been formed an adjective coppel , 'peaked, rounded,' or the like, and the adjective may here be descriptive of the stone which gave its name to the place. As Copplestone is on the bounds of three parishes, the stone was very probably a boundary stone. The stone is the upright stone which still stands here, some ten feet high. It is a granite pillar brought from some distance. It may be added that there are places called Copplestone in Newton Tracy and Tiverton, but no early forms have been noted.