Cleulow Cross high cross, 200m north of Fourways
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
- Date of most recent amendment:
The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1009850 .pdf
The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.
This copy shows the entry on 22-Jul-2019 at 21:17:29.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- Cheshire East (Unitary Authority)
- National Park:
- PEAK DISTRICT
- National Grid Reference:
- SJ 95203 67400
Reasons for Designation
High crosses, frequently heavily decorated, were erected in a variety of
locations in the eighth, ninth and tenth centuries AD. They are found
throughout northern England with a few examples further south. Surviving
examples are of carved stone but it is known that decorated timber crosses
were also used for similar purposes and some stone crosses display evidence of
carpentry techniques in their creation and adornment, attesting to this
tradition. High crosses have shafts supporting carved cross heads which may be
either free-armed or infilled with a 'wheel' or disc. They may be set within
dressed or rough stone bases called socles. The cross heads were frequently
small, the broad cross shaft being the main feature of the cross.
High crosses served a variety of functions, some being associated with
established churches and monasteries and playing a role in religious services,
some acting as cenotaphs or marking burial places, and others marking routes
or boundaries and acting as meeting places for local communities. Decoration
of high crosses divides into four main types: plant scrolls, plaiting and
interlace, birds and animals and, lastly, figural representation which is the
rarest category and often takes the form of religious iconography. The carved
ornamentation was often painted in a variety of colours though traces of these
pigments now survive only rarely. The earliest high crosses were created and
erected by the native population, probably under the direction of the Church,
but later examples were often commissioned by secular patrons and reflect the
art styles and mythology of Viking settlers.
Several distinct regional groupings and types of high cross have been
identified, some being the product of single schools of craftsmen. There are
fewer than 50 high crosses surviving in England and this is likely to
represent only a small proportion of those originally erected. Some were
defaced or destroyed during bouts of iconoclasm during the 16th and 17th
centuries. Others fell out of use and were taken down and reused in new
building works. They provide important insights into art traditions and
changing art styles during the early medieval period, into religious beliefs
during the same era and into the impact of the Scandinavian settlement of the
north of England. All well-preserved examples are identified as nationally
Cleulow Cross high cross is nearly complete in spite of wind erosion and is a good example of a regional type of high cross. It is in its original position and may have been a boundary marker for the early medieval parish of Prestbury.
The monument includes an Anglo-Saxon high cross on a mound raised from a spur
overlooking the valley of the Shell Brook.
The cross survives as a large base and shaft with the remains of a small
wheelhead cross on the top. The base is an irregular quadrangular block of
fine gritstone measuring 1.1m wide on the south side, 1.14m on the east side,
0.85m on the north side and 1.13m on the west side. The block is 0.47m high.
The shaft and head are cut from a single block of gritstone in the form of a
tapering column to a collar and then squared up to the wheel shaped head.
The columnar shaft is 1.95m to the collar from the base. It is 0.46m in
diameter at the bottom tapering to 0.34m at the collar. The collar is a double
roll moulding surmounted by a 0.75m squared pillar rising from four shoulders
with a simple roll moulding at the corners. The pillar has a roll moulded band
supporting the fragment of the head.
The cross is weathered which has obscured any trace of decoration on the
faces. The type of sculpture is late Anglo-Saxon and is an example of a kind
known locally as a late Mercian round shaft, dating from the late ninth or
early tenth century. This cross is one of a group of round shafts in this
region, including one at Swythamley Hall to the south and three from Ridge
Hall Farm to the north, now in Macclesfield West Park. The crosses form
markers for a boundary along the hillsides above the Cheshire Plain and define
the early medieval estate and parish of Prestbury.
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:
Books and journals
Bailey, R N, Cramp, R, Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Stone Sculpture, (1988), 54-56
Earwacker, JP, East Cheshire, (1880), 435
Higham, N J, The Origins of Cheshire, (1993), 172-3
Cheshire SMR, Treasures,
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