York Cross wayside cross, 700m north east of Foster Howes on Sneaton High Moor


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1009857

Date first listed: 26-Jan-1938

Date of most recent amendment: 11-Jan-1995


Ordnance survey map of York Cross wayside cross, 700m north east of Foster Howes on Sneaton High Moor
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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: Sneaton


National Grid Reference: NZ 87859 01524


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.

York Cross survives well in spite of losing part of the shaft and the head. It stands in its original position beside the line of an old pack horse way from Hackness to Whitby known as the Pannierman's Causeway. As a wayside cross it is one of a line of crosses on this route which includes Ann's Cross on Sneaton High Moor.


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


The monument includes a wayside cross known as York Cross, 700m north east of Foster Howes on Sneaton High Moor. It is also known as the Jack Cross. It stands beside an old packhorse route from Hackness to Whitby known as the Pannierman's Causeway. The cross has been said to be on a barrow. The cross survives as a stone base and broken upright shaft. The base is made of fine yellow sandstone and is almost square, measuring 0.65m on the east side and 0.63m on the south side. The base is 0.35m high. The oblong socket is badly eroded and measures 0.32m x 0.3m. The shaft stands 0.92m high to where it has been broken. The shaft is loosely resting in the socket. There is an OS benchmark cut into the west face of the base. There is now no trace of decoration on the cross shaft although the corners may have been chamfered. Traces of the old road are no longer visible in the heather. A new public footpath from the forestry land to the east leads up to Foster Howes and passes the cross to the south. The cross is Listed Grade II.

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: 25652

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Hayes, R H, Old Roads and Pannierways in North East Yorkshire, (1988), 31

End of official listing