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.

Weeping Cross

Early-attested site in the Parish of Bodicote


Weeping Cross (6″) is Weeping -Cross “a noted Place, where 4 Ways meet” 1675 Ogilby. There is a full discussion of this name (of which the O.S. maps show five examples in various counties) in the NED.The earliest occurrence of the phrase given there is Crucem Lacrymantem a. 1500, referring to a cross near Bury St Edmunds: but v. PN Sx 563 for a Wepyngcros mentioned in 1462. The NED mentions Beesley's History of Banbury 1841 as stating that the remains of an actual cross were removed from the Oxfordshire site in 1803.Various conjectures have been made as to the significance of the name—that acts of devotion at these crosses were enjoined on penitents, that the cross marked the place where bodies carried to interment were set down for the bearers to rest—but there is no evidence to support them. All the places seem to be at cross-roads.There is also a proverbial phrase To come home by Weeping Cross , 'to suffer grievous disappointment or failure,' for which cf. Pennyless Bench 22.

Places in the same Parish

Other OS name

Major Settlement