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Cross base for standing cross in churchyard of All Saints Church, Easington

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: Cross base for standing cross in churchyard of All Saints Church, Easington

List entry Number: 1011970

Location

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

County:

District: Redcar and Cleveland

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Loftus

National Park: NORTH YORK MOORS

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 14-Jun-1995

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: 25668

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 cross base at Easington survives well in spite of the loss of the shaft and part of the socket. It serves to remind us of the earlier church on this site and, together with the remains of pre-Conquest hogback tombstones and the remains of crosses from a medieval date now kept in the basement of the church, points to a major early church foundation. The cross is in its original position on the south side of the present building and may indicate a previous building on the present site.

History

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

Details

The monument comprises a cross base for a medieval standing cross situated outside the south west corner of the Church of All Saints in Easington. The type of square sandstone base with a socket hole is familiar in this region and connected with the boundaries of Whitby Abbey as is the base called the Wishing Chair in Whitby and the wayside crosses on the moors at Fylingdales and elsewhere in the North York Moors National Park. The cross base is 3m from the south west corner of the church tower. It has the south side of its socket broken away. The base is carved from a block of local fine gritstone and measures 0.54m by 0.5m and stands 0.47m high. The socket hole measures 0.28m by 0.26m and is 0.18m deep. The cross, which is also Listed Grade II, is in its original position on the south side of the church. The cross base is perhaps associated with the remains of carved crosses kept in the basement of the church. Adjacent stone grave covers and headstones are not included in the scheduling, although the ground beneath 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.

Selected Sources

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

National Grid Reference: NZ 74427 18004

Map

Map
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This copy shows the entry on 23-Nov-2017 at 12:17:15.

End of official listing