Great Hatfield Cross


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

East Riding of Yorkshire (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
TA 18788 42848

Reasons for Designation

A standing medieval cross is a free-standing upright structure which bears a head consisting of the arms of a cross, lantern, glode, or finial. Crosses vary in their degree of elaboration, ranging from simple orthostats to highly ornate constructions. Components to be expected of the simpler type may take the form of an embellished pinnacle or spire. The most complex have a shaft which is raised upon an open-sided shelter. Surviving standing crosses are almost invariably made of stone although it is known that many former crosses were made of wood and have since disappeared. The main purpose of raising standing crosses was to encourage remembrance and worship of Christ. In practice, standing crosses served a considerable variety of other functions. Those erected in churchyards served as stations for outdoor processions and were closely associated with Palm Sunday solemnities. Outside churchyards standing crosses were used as places for preaching, the definition of the extent of rights of sanctuary and places of public proclamation and penance. Standing crosses were also employed to mark parish and property boundaries or to define the edges of settlements. Wayside crosses sometimes marked routes across difficult terrain and also appear to have been used as setting-down places for corpses during funeral journeys. Many crosses were erected and used between c.1050-1540. Comparatively few medieval standing crosses now survive intact. Those originally embellished with statuary and imagery, particularly on the cross head, were prone to damage or destruction by iconoclasts, particularly the Puritans. Despite post-Reformation damage including the loss of the cross head Great Hatfield Cross survives reasonably well and still retains visible architectural and figurative medieval decoration. The cross stands in its original position and will preserve archaeological information on its original setting, and contribute to an understanding of its original function.


The monument is the medieval standing wayside cross in Great Hatfield. It stands at the east end of the modern village on an island at the junction of Cross Street and Main Street. The cross, which has lost its head, stands 3m tall overall. The decorated shaft is 1.75m high; it stands on a carved block base 1m square and 0.5m deep and a plinth of worn stone slabs. The block base and cross-shaft are decorated with carved figures and motifs. The base has a crouched lion carved in relief on each face. The southern and eastern faces of the shaft are decorated with a vine-scroll pattern, while the western face has a carved geometric zig-zag pattern running down it. On the northern face of the shaft there is a poorly preserved carved human figure. The figure is wearing a mitre and cope and is either a bishop or saint. The Hatfield Cross is also listed Grade II.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 1 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: Yorkshire - York and the East Riding, (1972), 243
Poulson, G, The History and Antiquities of Holderness, (1840), 444


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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