A Suicide Buried at the Crossroads
16 June 2021 (Updated 22 September 2021)
The crossroads found between Charlbury and Enstone used to be known as 'Condive's Corner'. It was named after a Charlbury man who was found hanging from a beam in his house in Sheep Street, Charlbury, apparently having taken his own life.
A mortal sin
At the time suicide was considered a mortal sin, and those who committed it would have been denied a Christian burial.
There was also a belief that suicides would not rest easy in their graves, and that their unquiet ghosts would inevitably haunt the area where they died if precautionary measures were not taken.
For this reason, it was common to bury suicides at a crossroads, the logic being that if thus buried their restless spirit would not be able to find its way home to cause trouble.
Was it actually murder?
However, years later it was revealed that someone had been seen climbing a ladder up to Mr. Condive's bedroom window shortly before his body was found and that his death may have actually been the result of murder.
As a result, Condive's body was dug up again and returned to the church at Charlbury where it was given a proper Christian burial!
- 'Folklore of Oxfordshire' by Christine Bloxham (Tempus Publishing, 2005, ISBN: 9780752436647)