Wayside Cross called Botton Cross on Danby High Moor


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


Ordnance survey map of Wayside Cross called Botton Cross on Danby High Moor
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

North Yorkshire
Scarborough (District Authority)
National Park:
National Grid Reference:
NZ 69723 01996

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.

Botton Cross wayside cross survives well in spite of the loss of the wheelhead and the break in the shaft. Enough remains to identify it as an early medieval wheelhead cross of which Fat Betty is the only other known example in the region. This cross serves to remind us of the medieval religious presence in the landscape and the roadways that used to cross the moors to bring commerce to the region.


The monument includes a wayside cross known as Botton Cross on Danby High Moor. It stands by the course of an old road which runs from the junction at the cross called Young Ralph and heads south east towards Fryup Head and Rosedale. The cross called Fat Betty is also on this route.

The cross is of an early medieval wheelhead type and survives as a base with the top part of the shaft inserted into the socket hole and a lower portion of the shaft lying on the ground beside it. The base is a gritstone block, slightly tapered towards the top, measuring 0.58m by 0.57m at the ground and narrowing to 0.48m by 0.47m at the top. The base is 0.51m high. The socket was cut to take a stone shaft 0.34m by 0.21m . The stone in this socket is 0.24m by 0.17m by 0.68m and is shaped at the top with shoulders to splay out into a wheelhead but the head is missing.

Beside the cross, on the east side is a portion of dressed stone measuring 0.33m by 0.23m and 0.64m long. The stone is of the same type of local grit and is cut to the same profile as the shaft and probably forms part of its lower half.

The recumbent stone is included in the scheduling of this monument.

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
Hayes, R H, Old Roads and Pannierways in North East Yorkshire, (1988), 15


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

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