Credit: Fred James. Used under this licence.
It was one of those chance internet encounters that led me to a Cornish village with a quaint name. The place you can see to the left is Bessy Beneath.
The only suggestion I have found online for the origin of the name is that a witch called Bessy is buried there. After all, one is supposed to bury witches at cross-roads, isn’t one? The explanation seems to me to be highly improbable to say the least.
Craig Weatherhill’s A Concise Dictionary of Cornish Place-Names (Cathair na Mart: Evertype, 2009) suggests bosveneth = “hillside dwelling”, but accompanies this etymology with a ? It is quite a phonetic leap from bəzˈveneθ to ˈbesi bɪˈniːθ and, as I have never been there, I don’t know if “hillside dwelling” makes sense as a name for the place. You can see the location of the village on the map below.