Anglo-Scandinavian high cross from Two Dales, Darley, now in the churchyard of All Saints' Church


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1008618

Date first listed: 23-Jun-1938

Date of most recent amendment: 21-Apr-1994


Ordnance survey map of Anglo-Scandinavian high cross from Two Dales, Darley, now in the churchyard of All Saints' Church
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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This copy shows the entry on 18-Dec-2018 at 14:55:44.


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

County: Derbyshire

District: Derbyshire Dales (District Authority)

Parish: Bakewell

National Park: PEAK DISTRICT

National Grid Reference: SK 21547 68458


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

Reasons for Designation

High crosses, frequently heavily decorated, were erected in a variety of locations in the eighth, ninth and tenth centuries AD. They are found throughout northern England with a few examples further south. Surviving examples are of carved stone but it is known that decorated timber crosses were also used for similar purposes and some stone crosses display evidence of carpentry techniques in their creation and adornment, attesting to this tradition. High crosses have shafts supporting carved cross heads which may be either free-armed or infilled with a 'wheel' or disc. They may be set within dressed or rough stone bases called socles. The cross heads were frequently small, the broad cross shaft being the main feature of the cross. High crosses served a variety of functions, some being associated with established churches and monasteries and playing a role in religious services, some acting as cenotaphs or marking burial places, and others marking routes or boundaries and acting as meeting places for local communities. Decoration of high crosses divides into four main types: plant scrolls, plaiting and interlace, birds and animals and, lastly, figural representation which is the rarest category and often takes the form of religious iconography. The carved ornamentation was often painted in a variety of colours though traces of these pigments now survive only rarely. The earliest high crosses were created and erected by the native population, probably under the direction of the Church, but later examples were often commissioned by secular patrons and reflect the art styles and mythology of Viking settlers. Several distinct regional groupings and types of high cross have been identified, some being the product of single schools of craftsmen. There are fewer than 50 high crosses surviving in England and this is likely to represent only a small proportion of those originally erected. Some were defaced or destroyed during bouts of iconoclasm during the 16th and 17th centuries. Others fell out of use and were taken down and reused in new building works. They provide important insights into art traditions and changing art styles during the early medieval period, into religious beliefs during the same era and into the impact of the Scandinavian settlement of the north of England. All well-preserved examples are identified as nationally important.

This cross shaft in All Saints' churchyard is a very fine example of an Anglo-Scandinavian high cross with extremely well-preserved decoration which includes stylised faunal depictions.


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


The monument is a Grade I Listed high cross comprising a shouldered gritstone cross shaft mortared onto a modern base. Originally a cross head would have surmounted the shaft but was not found when the shaft was unearthed from a field in Two Dales in the 19th century. It is also likely that the shaft was originally set into a socle or stone cross base. This is indicated by the squared-off undecorated section at the bottom of the shaft which would have slotted into a socket. The shaft is sandstone and tapers quite sharply towards the shoulder. It is of rectangular section and measures 44cm by 30cm at the base and 23cm by 19cm at the shoulder. Above the shoulder is part of a line of cable-moulding. All four faces of the shaft are highly decorated. The ornament is framed by flat-band mouldings which edge the angles of the shaft. Within these frames each face is divided into either two or three panels, all of which contain varying types of interlace and plaiting decoration which, stylistically, appear influenced by Viking art-forms suggesting that the cross dates to the late ninth or tenth century AD. Two panels, occupying the top and bottom of the east face respectively, contain what appear to be stylised bird forms. The shaft is 159cm high and the cross would have been approximately 2m-3m tall with its head and socle. Following its discovery, the shaft stood in the grounds of The Holt in Two Dales until being removed to All Saints' churchyard for safekeeping.

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: 23345

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: Derbyshire, (1953), 110
Heathcote, J P, 'Derbyshire Archaeological Journal' in , , Vol. 81, (1961), 137

End of official listing