Standing cross on Upper Broughton village green


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1011846

Date first listed: 10-May-1995


Ordnance survey map of Standing cross on Upper Broughton village green
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Nottinghamshire

District: Rushcliffe (District Authority)

Parish: Upper Broughton

National Grid Reference: SK 68103 26085


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.

Although not complete, the cross in Upper Broughton is a reasonably well preserved example of a medieval standing cross which would have played an important role in religious festivals and other aspects of medieval village life.


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


The monument includes the remains of the medieval standing cross located on the village green in Upper Broughton. The remains comprise a base of two steps beneath a moulded pedestal and square socket stone surmounted by the lower portion of a square sectioned shaft. Originally the shaft would have been at least twice its present height and would have been surmounted by a carved cross head but these items are now missing, possibly due to post-medieval iconoclasm. The stepped base or calvary rises to c.70cm and covers an area of c.2m square. It consists of a number of eroded limestone blocks which were clearly stapled together at one time though the staples are now missing. Currently they are mortared. The 20cm wide pedestal is also constructed of several separate pieces of stone and has a diamond cut profile. At its widest it is c.85cm square. The socket stone or socle is a single block measuring c.75cm square by c.40cm high. It is not clear whether the top corners were originally chamfered or whether this effect is due to erosion. Near each corner on the upper surface of the socle is a round depression measuring c.2cm wide by 1cm deep. It is not certain what these represent though it is possible they were the housings for a protective iron fence such as has been added to other crosses in the recent past. This may also account for the hole driven through the top of the shaft which is also not an original feature. The surviving portion of the shaft is c.80cm tall and has a maximum width at the base of 25cm by 20cm. It has rounded chamfered corners and appears to have tapered slightly towards the top. All four faces of the shaft bear a simple incised panel which suggests that there may originally have been some form of surface decoration though this is no longer obvious. The cross is Listed Grade II.

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


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

Legacy System number: 23367

Legacy System: RSM


Shackleton Hill, Angela, (1994)
Stapleton, A., (1912)

End of official listing