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Churchyard cross, St Michael's churchyard

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: Churchyard cross, St Michael's churchyard

List entry Number: 1009202

Location

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

County: Lincolnshire

District: South Kesteven

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Edenham

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 05-Oct-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: 22646

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

A standing cross is a free standing upright structure, usually of stone, mostly erected during the medieval period (mid 10th to mid 16th centuries AD). Standing crosses served a variety of functions. In churchyards they served as stations for outdoor processions, particularly in the observance of Palm Sunday. Elsewhere, standing crosses were used within settlements as places for preaching, public proclamation and penance, as well as defining rights of sanctuary. Standing crosses were also employed to mark boundaries between parishes, property, or settlements. A few crosses were erected to commemorate battles. Some crosses were linked to particular saints, whose support and protection their presence would have helped to invoke. Crosses in market places may have helped to validate transactions. After the Reformation, some crosses continued in use as foci for municipal or borough ceremonies, for example as places for official proclamations and announcements; some were the scenes of games or recreational activity. Standing crosses were distributed throughout England and are thought to have numbered in excess of 12,000. However, their survival since the Reformation has been variable, being much affected by local conditions, attitudes and religious sentiment. In particular, many cross-heads were destroyed by iconoclasts during the 16th and 17th centuries. Less than 2,000 medieval standing crosses, with or without cross-heads, are now thought to exist. The oldest and most basic form of standing cross is the monolith, a stone shaft often set directly in the ground without a base. The most common form is the stepped cross, in which the shaft is set in a socket stone and raised upon a flight of steps; this type of cross remained current from the 11th to 12th centuries until after the Reformation. Where the cross-head survives it may take a variety of forms, from a lantern-like structure to a crucifix; the more elaborate examples date from the 15th century. Much less common than stepped crosses are spire-shaped crosses, often composed of three or four receding stages with elaborate architectural decoration and/or sculptured figures; the most famous of these include the Eleanor crosses, erected by Edward I at the stopping places of the funeral cortege of his wife, who died in 1290. Also uncommon are the preaching crosses which were built in public places from the 13th century, typically in the cemeteries of religious communities and cathedrals, market places and wide thoroughfares; they include a stepped base, buttresses supporting a vaulted canopy, in turn carrying either a shaft and head or a pinnacled spire. Standing crosses contribute significantly to our understanding of medieval customs, both secular and religious, and to our knowledge of medieval parishes and settlement patterns. All crosses which survive as standing monuments, especially those which stand in or near their original location, are considered worthy of protection.

The churchyard cross at Edenham is a good example of the remains of a medieval standing cross with a stepped base. Situated to the south west of the tower, it is believed to stand in or near its original position. Limited disturbance of the area immediately surrounding the cross indicates that archaeological deposits relating to the monument's construction and use in this location are likely to survive intact. The cross has continued in use as a public monument and amenity from medieval times to the present day.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a Grade II Listed standing stone cross located in the churchyard of St Michael's Church, Edenham, approximately 12m south west of the tower. The cross is of stepped form and is medieval in date with late 19th-/early 20th-century repairs. The monument includes the base, comprising two steps and a socket-stone, and a fragment of the shaft.

The base includes two steps constructed of large rectangular blocks of limestone around a loose rubble core. The lower step is approximately 2m square and the upper 1.3m square; both are over 0.3m in height. On the upper step rests the socket-stone, a single limestone slab of rectangular section, 0.52m x 0.6m, with slightly chamfered lower corners and a narrow groove running under the upper edge. It reaches a maximum height of 0.34m. Into the socket-stone is set the medieval shaft fragment, of plain rectangular section within the socket and tapering upwards in octagonal section above. It is fixed to the socket-stone with large iron clamps which represent repairs made in the late 19th/early 20th century. The shaft fragment stands to a height of 0.83m above the socket-stone; at the top are further iron clamps fixing the stone to the remains of a wooden block. The full height of the cross is approximately 2.1m.

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.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Stukeley, W, Itinerarium Curiosum, I, (1724), 10
Davies, D S, 'Lincolnshire Notes and Queries' in Ancient Stone Crosses in Kesteven, , Vol. XII no.5, (1913), 140

National Grid Reference: TF 06194 21804

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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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 - 1009202 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 20-Jul-2018 at 10:57:36.

End of official listing