John Cross boundary cross on Shooting House Rigg immediately east of Wilson's Shooting House


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1011744

Date first listed: 06-Jul-1934

Date of most recent amendment: 12-Dec-1994


Ordnance survey map of John Cross boundary cross on Shooting House Rigg immediately east of Wilson's Shooting House
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. 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.

County: North Yorkshire

District: Scarborough (District Authority)

Parish: LCPs of Fylingdales and Hawsker-cum-Stainsacre


National Grid Reference: NZ 90035 02699


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 cross base called John Cross on Shooting House Rigg was a boundary cross for Whitby Abbey. The base survives well in spite of the loss of the original shaft and head. It is in its original position on an eminence, making it visible for a considerable distance in each direction. The cross gives an indication of the extent of the lands of Whitby Abbey before the Reformation and was probably a waymarker and reminder of the faith to the medieval traveller.


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


The monument comprises a cross base with a freestone boulder set roughly into the socket. It stands at the junction of a footpath from New May Beck across Low Moor running west-east and a path from the B1416 south to the Robin Hood's Bay Road footpath 1km to the south. It marks the boundary of the lands of Whitby Abbey during the medieval period. The cross base is of fine gritstone, well worn and standing 0.21m above the turf. The base measures 0.58m by 0.63m and the socket is 0.4m by 0.28m. A boulder 0.62m long has been inserted into the socket. There is a letter `C' cut in the north face, showing its reuse as a boundary marker for the Cholmley estate. The area on which the cross stands is littered with the remains of the shooting house which stood on the site. This building has traces of medieval stonework in the rubble. It stood immediately beside the cross on the south east side. The remains of the shooting house are excluded from the scheduling as they are not yet fully understood, although the ground beneath this feature 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: 25683

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Graham, L, The Crosses of the North Yorkshire Moors, (1993), 48

End of official listing