Medieval wayside cross, 780m SSE of Walwick Grange
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1008265
Date first listed: 13-Apr-1994
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Northumberland (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference: NY 90978 68555
Reasons for Designation
Wayside crosses are one of several types of Christian cross erected during the
medieval period, mostly from the 9th to 15th centuries AD. In addition to
serving the function of reiterating and reinforcing the Christian faith
amongst those who passed the cross and of reassuring the traveller, wayside
crosses often fulfilled a role as waymarkers, especially in difficult and
otherwise unmarked terrain. The crosses might be on regularly used routes
linking ordinary settlements or on routes having a more specifically religious
function, including those providing access to religious sites for parishioners
and funeral processions, or marking long-distance routes frequented on
Over 350 wayside crosses are known nationally, concentrated in south-west
England throughout Cornwall and on Dartmoor where they form the commonest type
of stone cross. A small group also occurs on the North York Moors. Relatively
few examples have been recorded elsewhere and these are generally confined to
remote moorland locations.
Outside Cornwall almost all wayside crosses take the form of a 'latin' cross,
in which the cross-head itself is shaped with the projecting arms of an
unenclosed cross. In Cornwall wayside crosses vary considerably in form and
decoration. The commonest type includes a round, or 'wheel', head on the faces
of which various forms of cross or related designs were carved in relief or
incised, the spaces between the cross arms possibly pierced. The design was
sometimes supplemented with a relief figure of Christ and the shaft might bear
decorative panels and motifs. Less common forms in Cornwall include the
'Latin' cross and, much rarer, the simple slab with a low relief cross on both
faces. Rare examples of wheel-head and slab-form crosses also occur within the
North York Moors group. Most wayside crosses have either a simple socketed
base or show no evidence for a separate base at all.
Wayside crosses contribute significantly to our understanding of medieval
religious customs and sculptural traditions and to our knowledge of medieval
routeways and settlement patterns. All wayside crosses which survive as earth-
fast monuments, except those which are extremely damaged and removed from
their original locations, are considered worthy of protection.
The medieval cross 780m SSE of Walwick Grange survives reasonably well, despite the loss of its upper shaft and is a good example of a wayside cross in Northumberland.
A medieval cross is situated just above the west bank of the River North Tyne
immediately east of the Stanegate, the Roman road from Corbridge to Carlisle.
The cross is visible as a rectangular socket stone measuring 0.9m by 0.75m. It
is well embedded in the ground but stands to a height of 0.18m above ground
level. There is a central socket hole, in which stands a stone shaft 0.33m by
0.25m and 0.6m high with its top broken off. The cross carries an engraving on
its western side; this is a narrow `v' shape 0.36m long and probably
represents the remains of an engraved cross decoration. The situation of the
cross adjacent to the Stanegate, which continued in use as a road during
medieval times, indicates that it is the remains of a medieval wayside cross.
MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 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: 25028
Legacy System: RSM
NY 96 NW 15,
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