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Medieval cross, 400m south east of Crag House

List Entry Summary

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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Medieval cross, 400m south east of Crag House

List entry Number: 1008424

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County:

District: Northumberland

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Wall

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 25-May-1994

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 25040

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

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 pilgrimages. 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 cross base south east of Crag House survives well and remains in its original position. The importance of the monument is enhanced by its association with a known pilgrimage route to an important early Christian site.

History

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Details

The base of a medieval wayside cross is incorporated into a dry stone wall situated on the top of an east-west ridge. The cross base is fashioned from a natural sandstone boulder. It is roughly square in shape and measures 1.25m; it is embedded in the ground but stands to a height of 0.5m above ground level. There is a central socket hole 0.36m by 0.16m and 0.13m deep. Surrounding the socket hole on all four sides there is a shallow groove forming a rectangular chamfer 0.43m by 0.82m. The cross is believed to be situated on a Medieval Pilgrim route from Hexham Abbey to the Church of St Oswalds, one of a number of holy sites linked by such routes; it is believed that in the vicinity, in the seventh century, Oswald King of Northumbria, raised the Christian cross after his victory against the non Christian Britons at the battle of Heavenfield. Oswald's raising of a cross at Heavenfield is mentioned in the writings of the Venerable Bede, a monk and historian born near Jarrow around AD 673. The original cross is likely to have been a timber construction later replaced in stone. The dry stone wall which overlies the cross is excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath it is included.

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.

Selected Sources

Other
Eagles, J L M, Landscape and Community: a WHS in rural Northumberland, 1991, M. Litt thesis
NY 96 NW 34,

National Grid Reference: NY 93338 69021

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2017. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1008424 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 18-Dec-2017 at 07:23:25.

End of official listing