Lady Cross wayside cross, north of the A171 and 20m west of the Barnby turn-off


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1009848

Date first listed: 13-Jan-1995


Ordnance survey map of Lady Cross wayside cross, north of the A171 and 20m west of the Barnby turn-off
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: North Yorkshire

District: Scarborough (District Authority)

Parish: Egton


National Grid Reference: NZ 81458 08330


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.

The Lady Cross survives well as a base and part of the original shaft. Although probably moved from its original site it still marks the line of an important medieval ridgeway and the junction with the road from Grosmont Priory. It is also of interest as having been reused as a waymarker in the early 18th century.


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


The monument includes a wayside cross known as Lady Cross situated north of the A171 Guisborough to Whitby road and 20m west of the turn-off to Barnby. The Lady Cross survives as a stone base and broken shaft. The base is of local sandstone, measures 0.48m by 0.5m and stands 0.11m high. The shaft is set into a socket and measures 0.2m by 0.28m with the wider faces to the north and south. It is 0.6m high. The shaft is inscribed with sculpted letters which are largely indecipherable but can be interpreted as an indication of the direction to Whitby and Guisborough. The lettering on the south face is in mirror writing. The inscription serves to convert the stump of a wayside cross of late medieval date into a waymarker of the 18th century. The Lady Cross has been set up close to its original position where it marks the junction of the old High Street out of Whitby and the track from Grosmont Priory to the ridgeway across Egton Low Moor which is now the A171. The line of the medieval ridgeway is marked to the west by the place name Stanegate (the stone road) where it turns down into Eskdale. The Ordnance Survey records the cross as a place name only.

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: 25643

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Hayes, R H, Old Roads and Pannierways in North East Yorkshire, (1988), 23

End of official listing