Hawsker Cross wayside cross, 100m east of Hawsker Hall Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1009858

Date first listed: 05-Dec-1928

Date of most recent amendment: 12-Dec-1994


Ordnance survey map of Hawsker Cross wayside cross, 100m east of Hawsker Hall Farm
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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: Hawsker-cum-Stainsacre


National Grid Reference: NZ 92243 07549


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.

Hawsker Cross wayside cross survives well in spite of losing its head. It is a fine example of the late Anglo-Scandinavian type of sculpture. It gives us insight into the beliefs of the medieval period and may mark a boundary of the Whitby Abbey lands on the south side. This may be compared to the cross at Swarth Howe to the north west of Whitby.


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


The monument includes a wayside cross known as Hawsker Cross set up beside an old road from Whitby Abbey to Robin Hood's Bay. It stands in a vegetable garden 100m east of Hawsker Hall Farm. The cross consists of a stone base split into two halves at the socket hole and a shaft broken off below the head. The base is of fine yellow sandstone, measuring 1.07m on the north side and 0.86m on the west side. The base stone is 0.31m high. The socket is 0.51m by 0.41m and the shaft is cemented into it. The shaft stands 1.84m high and is 0.36m by 0.22m at the base, tapering to 0.29m by 0.18m at the top. The cross shaft is decorated with fine interlace carving on the north east and south sides, although the patterns are badly eroded. The west side bears a vine scroll carving. On the east and west sides are faint traces of figure carving as well. At the corners a simple roll moulding defines the carved panels. The style is of the Anglo-Scandinavian period and dates from the tenth century. The garden wall to the west of the cross is excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath it is included.

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: 25653

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Cramp, R, Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Stone Sculpture in England: Volume I, (1984), 4
Hayes, R H, Old Roads and Pannierways in North East Yorkshire, (1988), 33

End of official listing