Mauley Cross in Cropton Forest 580m north of Hill Top Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1011745

Date first listed: 24-Jul-1964

Date of most recent amendment: 12-Dec-1994


Ordnance survey map of Mauley Cross in Cropton Forest 580m north of Hill Top Farm
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: North Yorkshire

District: Ryedale (District Authority)

Parish: Stape


National Grid Reference: SE 79676 94342

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 Mauley Cross wayside cross still stands as a reminder of the important line of communication marked by the Roman road beside it to the west. The cross is in good condition although weathered and its survival as a single piece of stone is remarkable. It also reminds us of the religious organisation of the medieval landscape and the piety expected of the travellers of that period.


The monument comprises a wayside cross called Mauley Cross. It stands 80m to the east of the line of the Roman road from Cawthorne Roman camps north to New Wath Farm. This route was a trackway in the medieval period. The cross is carved from a single slab of fine gritstone. It stands 3m north of the forest track called the Brown Howe Road, on a raised bank 1.5m above the road surface. It is earthfast without a socket. The cross stands 2.12m high, facing north-south. The shaft is 0.27m by 0.23m wide. The head is carved out at a point 1.57m from the ground. The arms of the cross are 0.25m wide and project 0.13m from the shaft. There is an OS benchmark on the north face; otherwise there is no trace of ornament or decoration. The cross is worn and weathered so that the arms appear to be rounded. The cross dates from the medieval period and is a wayside religious symbol for the ancient trackway which continues the use of the Roman road. It takes its name from the landowning De Mauley family of Mulgrave.

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: 25684

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Graham, L, The Crosses of the North Yorkshire Moors, (1993), 40
Hayes, R H, Old Roads and Pannierways in North East Yorkshire, (1988), 27

End of official listing