Wayside cross 950m east of Spout House Plantation


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1009370

Date first listed: 03-Nov-1951

Date of most recent amendment: 03-Nov-1994


Ordnance survey map of Wayside cross 950m east of Spout House Plantation
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: North Yorkshire

District: Ryedale (District Authority)

Parish: Helmsley


National Grid Reference: SE 58699 92992


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

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 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.

This wayside cross has an intact crossbase and portion of shaft and is still in its original position marking an important routeway from Helmsley to Stokesley. The route played an important role in the medieval period connecting the monastic houses to the south of the Moors with those to the north. Together with other crosses on the North York Moors this monument provides important evidence of the social and ritual traditions and the complex network of routeways amongst both lay and ecclesiastical communities in the medieval period.


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


The monument includes a wayside cross on the top of Helmsley Moor. The cross has a base stone carved from a single block, measuring 0.5m square and standing 0.4m high. The lower part of the cross shaft still standing loosely in its socket. The remains of the shaft are 0.45m high and 0.2m by 0.25m in section. The cross known as Roppa Cross North stands as a marker on the old Helmsley to Stokesley road. The monument is one of a series of crosses marking routes across the difficult upland terrain and as such provides significant insights into social and ritual traditions as well as patterns of communication in the medieval and post medieval periods.

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: 25555

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Graham, L, M, , 'The Crosses of the North York Moors' in The Crosses of the North York Moors, (1993), p17
Pacitto A, FMW REPORT, (1991)

End of official listing