North Rauceby village cross


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1009231

Date first listed: 28-Sep-1994


Ordnance survey map of North Rauceby village cross
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Lincolnshire

District: North Kesteven (District Authority)

Parish: North Rauceby

National Grid Reference: TF 02208 46390

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.

North Rauceby village cross is a good example of a medieval standing cross with a quadrangular socket-stone. It is situated at a road junction in the village centre where limited development indicates that archaeological deposits relating to the monument's construction and use in this location are likely to survive intact. While parts of the cross have survived since medieval times, subsequent restoration has resulted in its continued use as a public monument and amenity.


The monument includes North Rauceby village cross, a Grade II Listed standing stone cross, located on a green at the road junction east of the church. The cross is of stepped form and is medieval and later in date. The monument includes the base, comprising two steps and a socket-stone, the shaft and the head.

The base includes two limestone steps, the lower approximately 2.15m square and the upper about 1.5m square. Both steps date from a late 19th/early 20th century restoration. On the upper step stands a medieval socket-stone, composed of two slabs; the lower is 0.92m square in section and 0.21m high with slightly chamfered upper corners; the upper is 0.78m square in section at the base, rising in octagonal section through moulded and chamfered corners to a height of 0.7m. Set into the middle of the socket-stone is the shaft, of tapering octagonal section, and of one piece with the knop. The head takes the form of a gabled tabernacle topped by a crucifix with floriate decoration. The shaft, knop and head are all modern, dating from the late 19th-/early 20th-century restoration. The full height of the cross is about 4.5m.

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.


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

Legacy System number: 22639

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Trollope, E, Sleaford, and the Wapentakes of Flaxwell and Arwardhun, (1872), 286
'Kelly's Directory' in Kelly's Directory, (1909), 476

End of official listing