Three Legged Cross

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Three Legged Cross
Three Legged Cross, The Woodcutters, shop and garage - - 1037803.jpg
Ringwood Road, Three Legged Cross
Three Legged Cross is located in Dorset
Three Legged Cross
Three Legged Cross
Three Legged Cross shown within Dorset
Population 1,500 
OS grid reference SU079057
Civil parish
Shire county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town VERWOOD
Postcode district BH21
Dialling code 01202
Police Dorset
Fire Dorset and Wiltshire
Ambulance South Western
EU Parliament South West England
UK Parliament
List of places
50°51′04″N 1°53′17″W / 50.851°N 1.888°W / 50.851; -1.888Coordinates: 50°51′04″N 1°53′17″W / 50.851°N 1.888°W / 50.851; -1.888

Three Legged Cross is an extended village in the county of Dorset in the south of England. It lies to the south of the town of Verwood and to the north of West Moors. Its population in 2014 was estimated at 2,740.[1] Administratively Three Legged Cross is part of the civil parish of Verwood and East Dorset District Council.


Various explanations have been put forward for the etymology of 'Three Legged Cross', which is recorded as a toponym from the sixteenth century onwards. One theory is that a type of gibbet known as a 'three-legged mare' once stood here;[2] another theory is that there may once have been a boundary stone in the area marking the convergence of three great estates: Lord Shaftesbury's to the west, Lord Normanton's to the north and east, and the nineteenth-century banking family, the Rolles-Fryer's, to the south.[3] The simpler explanation is that the name signifies the zigzagging configuration of the B3072 through this district, whereby the road is effectively divided into three separate stretches, or 'legs'.[4]


  1. ^ Parish & Ward Population Data - Dorset County Council 2014
  2. ^ A. D. Mills, Dorset Place-Names (1986), p. 144.
  3. ^ J. Coulthard, Verwood: Village to Town (2007), p. 10.
  4. ^ A. J. McKinstry, 'Crosses Revisited - Part Two', in The Journal of the Christchurch Local History Society (February 2012), p. 7.

External links[edit]

Media related to Three Legged Cross at Wikimedia Commons