Wayside cross called Postgate Cross on Graystone Hills 700m NNE of Sneaton Corner


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1011966

Date first listed: 15-Nov-1934

Date of most recent amendment: 08-Aug-1995


Ordnance survey map of Wayside cross called Postgate Cross on Graystone Hills 700m NNE of Sneaton Corner
© 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 91825 04342


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 wayside cross known as Postgate Cross survives well despite the loss of the head. It is in its original position marking an important pack horse route used to carry fish and salt from Robin Hood's Bay across the moors towards Pickering. It served to mark this route and remind the traveller of the protection of Christianity, particularly of the monastery of Whitby in the medieval period.


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


The monument includes the wayside cross known as Postgate Cross set up 300m west of the A171 - the Robin Hood's Bay road. A former course of this road can be seen as a ridge in the heather parallel to the present road and 50m west of the monument. This was an old salters' road and at Sneaton Corner it becomes a footpath leading south west to Lilla Howe. The cross consists of a base made of fine yellow sandstone with a socket hole and the broken remains of the shaft. The base block stands 0.36m high and measures 0.74m on the north face and 0.57m on the east side. The broken shaft stands 0.63m high and is set in the socket hole with loose stones to support it. This has eroded the hole to an oval shape 0.39m by 0.32m where the shaft is 0.35m wide and 0.23m deep. The cross is of a medieval date and the shaft is original. It stands in its original position marking the line of the Old Saltergate.

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: 25654

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Hayes, R H, Old Roads and Pannierways in North East Yorkshire, (1988), 32

End of official listing