Wayside and boundary cross known as Edale Cross


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


Ordnance survey map of Wayside and boundary cross known as Edale Cross
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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This copy shows the entry on 22-Oct-2019 at 14:31:43.


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

High Peak (District Authority)
National Park:
National Grid Reference:
SK 07717 86099

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.

Edale Cross is a well-preserved example of a finely dressed wayside cross set in its original location on an ancient route across open moorland. Of equal importance is its role as a medieval boundary cross marking the edge of a royal forest.


The monument, known both as Edale Cross and Champion Cross, is situated below Kinderlow in the northern gritstone moorlands of the Derbyshire Peak District. It includes a freestanding medieval wayside and boundary cross which stands on the parish boundary between Hayfield and Edale next to the ancient moorland track between the two villages. It also marked the edge of the former royal forest of Peak Forest. The cross comprises a dressed gritstone shaft of rectangular section surmounted by an integral equal-armed cross head above a band-like collar. The cross head is out of proportion with the shaft which suggests that the latter is shorter than it was originally and that it may formerly have been set into a socle or base stone. Currently the overall height is 1.6m while the shaft, from ground to collar, is 85cm high and measures 34cm from east-west by 26cm from north-south. It has chamfered edges and is wedged into the ground by packing stones. The collar is 10cm wide and the cross head, which faces south towards the track noted above, is 65cm high and would have been approximately the same distance across but for damage done in the past to its west arm. Both faces of the cross head are decorated with an incised inner cross which contains, on the south side, the inscription HG 1610 and, on the north side, four sets of initials: WD, EH, JH and JS. The end of the east arm of the cross is also inscribed JH and it is assumed that all of these groups of letters are later graffiti while the date and its associated letters may relate to a 17th century survey. Excluded from the scheduling are the drystone walls enclosing the cross on three sides and the plaque next to it, although the ground beneath these features is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Firth, G B, Highways and Byways of Derbyshire212
Tudor, T L, The High Peak to Sherwood53
'Derbyshire Archaeological Journal' in Derbyshire Archaeological Journal, , Vol. 55, (1934), 77
Cox, Rev. J C, 'The Athenaeum' in The Athenaeum, , Vol. 4002, (1904), 57
Routh, T E, 'Derbyshire Archaeological Journal' in A Corpus Of Pre-Conquest Carved Stones In Derbyshire, , Vol. 58, (1937), 1-46


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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