This browser is not fully supported by Historic England. Please update your browser to the latest version so that you get the best from our website.

Churchyard cross, St Peter's churchyard

List Entry Summary

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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Churchyard cross, St Peter's churchyard

List entry Number: 1011798


The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Lincolnshire

District: South Kesteven

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Claypole

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 13-Oct-1994

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 22664

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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

Reasons for Designation

A standing cross is a free standing upright structure, usually of stone, mostly erected during the medieval period (mid 10th to mid 16th centuries AD). Standing crosses served a variety of functions. In churchyards they served as stations for outdoor processions, particularly in the observance of Palm Sunday. Elsewhere, standing crosses were used within settlements as places for preaching, public proclamation and penance, as well as defining rights of sanctuary. Standing crosses were also employed to mark boundaries between parishes, property, or settlements. A few crosses were erected to commemorate battles. Some crosses were linked to particular saints, whose support and protection their presence would have helped to invoke. Crosses in market places may have helped to validate transactions. After the Reformation, some crosses continued in use as foci for municipal or borough ceremonies, for example as places for official proclamations and announcements; some were the scenes of games or recreational activity. Standing crosses were distributed throughout England and are thought to have numbered in excess of 12,000. However, their survival since the Reformation has been variable, being much affected by local conditions, attitudes and religious sentiment. In particular, many cross-heads were destroyed by iconoclasts during the 16th and 17th centuries. Less than 2,000 medieval standing crosses, with or without cross-heads, are now thought to exist. The oldest and most basic form of standing cross is the monolith, a stone shaft often set directly in the ground without a base. The most common form is the stepped cross, in which the shaft is set in a socket stone and raised upon a flight of steps; this type of cross remained current from the 11th to 12th centuries until after the Reformation. Where the cross-head survives it may take a variety of forms, from a lantern-like structure to a crucifix; the more elaborate examples date from the 15th century. Much less common than stepped crosses are spire-shaped crosses, often composed of three or four receding stages with elaborate architectural decoration and/or sculptured figures; the most famous of these include the Eleanor crosses, erected by Edward I at the stopping places of the funeral cortege of his wife, who died in 1290. Also uncommon are the preaching crosses which were built in public places from the 13th century, typically in the cemeteries of religious communities and cathedrals, market places and wide thoroughfares; they include a stepped base, buttresses supporting a vaulted canopy, in turn carrying either a shaft and head or a pinnacled spire. Standing crosses contribute significantly to our understanding of medieval customs, both secular and religious, and to our knowledge of medieval parishes and settlement patterns. All crosses which survive as standing monuments, especially those which stand in or near their original location, are considered worthy of protection.

The churchyard cross at Claypole is a good example of a standing cross with a stepped base. Situated to the south of the chancel, it is believed to stand in or near its original position, and archaeological deposits relating to the monument's construction in this location are likely to survive intact. While the steps, socket-stone and part of the shaft have survived from medieval times, the subsequent restoration of the cross as a war memorial has resulted in its continued function as a public monument and amenity.


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


The monument includes a standing stone cross located in the churchyard of St Peter's Church, Claypole, approximately 5m south east of the south transept. The cross is of stepped form and is medieval and modern in date, having been rebuilt as a war memorial. It is also Listed Grade II. The monument includes the base, comprising two steps and a socket-stone, the shaft, knop and head.

The steps are square in plan and principally constructed of worn limestone blocks resting on coursed modern brick. The lower step is about 1.6m square, the upper about 0.95m square. The present form of the steps dates from the early 20th century when the cross was restored as a war memorial, although earlier fragments were reused. On the north side of the upper step is a modern block with an inscription recording the restoration of the cross following World War I. On this step stands the medieval socket-stone, of octagonal section to a height of 0.25m and then tapering to an irregular top with a moulded rim. The full height of the socket-stone is about 0.48m. Set into the socket-stone is the shaft, about 0.18m square in section at the base and composed of two stones of octagonal section. The lower stone is 0.75m in height and is believed to represent a fragment of the medieval shaft; the upper part of the shaft is 0.92m high and represents a modern restoration. The knop takes the form of a moulded capital, and the head an ornate crucifix; these pieces also date from the restoration. The full height of the cross is approximately 3.1m.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

This List entry has been amended to add the source for War Memorials Register. This source was not used in the compilation of this List entry but is added here as a guide for further reading, 10 January 2018.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Davies, D S, 'Lincolnshire Notes and Queries' in Ancient Stone Crosses in Kesteven, , Vol. XII no.5, (1913), 134
War Memorials Register, accessed 10 January 2018 from

National Grid Reference: SK 84564 48974


© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1011798 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 25-Feb-2018 at 06:08:28.

End of official listing