Wayside cross known as Mount Cross
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
- Date of most recent amendment:
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This copy shows the entry on 18-Sep-2019 at 14:34:48.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- Calderdale (Metropolitan Authority)
- National Grid Reference:
- SD 91462 27284
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
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 within 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.
Mount Cross is a good and well preserved example of a crudely carved wayside cross whose importance is enhanced by the intact survival of the cross-head.
The monument is a gritstone wayside cross located near the edge of Stansfield
Moor. It comprises a bowed shaft of bevelled rectangular section surmounted by
a form of wheel cross-head. The cross is free-standing and is not set into a
socle or cross base but directly into the ground. A number of stones have been
wedged against the bottom to keep it upright.
The head consists of an equal-armed cross whose arms or spandrels are steeply
splayed and have curving terminals and roughly circular angles. The gaps
between the spandrels are filled in with a feature known as a plate. This
appears to have originally had narrow strips of roll moulding round its edges.
The centre of each face has a raised boss with a roll moulded rim though, on
the NE face, this feature is broken. The cross-head is separate from the shaft
and has an integral collar most clearly visible on the NE side. The cross-head
measures 65cm from top to bottom and 55cm from side to side while the central
bosses are each c.22cm wide and the unbroken example is raised c.4cm. The
shaft is 130cm tall and measures 18cm wide on its NW and SE faces and a
maximum of 38cm on its SW and NE faces. The broad faces taper slightly at both
top and bottom but the narrow faces are of fairly uniform width. Round the top
of the shaft can be seen traces of a collar consisting of two or three bands
of roll moulding. Faint tool marks can be seen all over the cross, as can
diagonal bands of natural glacial striations. Towards the bottom of the shaft
on the NE side are what appear to be extremely faint traces of vine-scroll
decoration which would suggest a fairly early date for the cross, possibly
tenth or eleventh century. The irregularity of the carving overall tends to
indicate that the cross is no earlier. The cross is orientated SW-NE so that
the SW face overlooks the bridleway on that side. This suggests that the cross
marked an ancient route across the moor, though it may also have marked an
ecclesiastical division or estate boundary.
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:
- Legacy System:
for MPP, Shackleton Hill, Angela, Mount Cross, (1994)
PRN 69, Mount Cross,
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