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.

Headless Cross

Early-attested site in the Parish of Tardebigge

Historical Forms

  • Hedley 1275 SR 1294 Ipm 1327 SR
  • Smethehedley 1300 Pat
  • Hedley Cross 1464 Pat
  • Hedles Crosse 1549 Pat
  • Headleys Cross 1789 CanalMap 1820 G


'Heath-clearing,' v. hæð , leah . From Hedley developed Hedley's Cross, and this was later corrupted as above, cf. Duignan PN Wo 80. Smethe = 'smooth, level.'