Scarisbrick Park wayside cross


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1009492

Date first listed: 25-Oct-1977

Date of most recent amendment: 09-Aug-1994


Ordnance survey map of Scarisbrick Park wayside cross
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Lancashire

District: West Lancashire (District Authority)

Parish: Scarisbrick

National Grid Reference: SD 38758 12004


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 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.

Despite some damage to the arms of the monument, Scarisbrick wayside cross survives reasonably well and is a rare survival of this class of monument in Lancashire.


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


The monument includes Scarisbrick Park medieval wayside cross. It is located on the eastern side of Southport Road at what was originally the edge of Scarisbrick Park, and includes a cross cut from a single slab of rough stone which is socketed into a square stone base or sockle. The monument is rectangular in cross section and tapers slightly towards the top where each of the three cross arms have been partly mutilated. It measures approximately 1.7m tall by 0.3m thick. Two square holes have been sunk into the cross originally to support a crucifix. The cross was erected in medieval times as part of two lines of wayside crosses which led from Scarisbrick Park, seat of the influential Scarisbrick family. One of these lines led to Burscough Priory, founded c.1190 by the Augustinian order; the other, of which Scarisbrick Park cross is one, led to the market town of Ormskirk. The cross would have served the dual purpose of a wayside shrine and a route marker across what was then treacherous marshy ground. Funeral processions may have rested here and offered up prayers for the departed on the last journey to their burial place. A surrounding wall and an information board are excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath these features is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


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

Legacy System number: 23744

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Taylor, H, The Ancient Crosses and Holy Wells of Lancashire, (1906), 131-2
FMW Report, Capstick, B, Medieval Wayside Cross and Associated Well, Scarisbrick, (1988)
Morris,R., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Standing Crosses, (1990)
On site information board, West Lancashire District Council, Scarisbrick Wayside Cross,

End of official listing