Market cross


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012154

Date first listed: 27-Feb-1995


Ordnance survey map of Market cross
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Doncaster (Metropolitan Authority)

Parish: Bawtry

National Grid Reference: SK 65120 92925


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.

Though missing its original shaft, the base of Bawtry market cross is a well preserved example whose importance is enhanced by its survival in its original location where it will preserve the medieval land surface underneath.


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


The monument is a late medieval or early post-medieval market cross located at the south end of the market place in Bawtry. It includes a calvary or stepped base of four magnesian limestone steps surmounted by a Classical style obelisk of probable 18th century date. The obelisk is approximately 4m high and comprises a 1m high rectangular base with a pedestal and capital, above which is a tapering octagonal shaft which is reputed to have been used as a lamp standard at some stage though this is no longer the case. The obelisk will have replaced an earlier cross which is now missing. The calvary measures approximately 2.5m square and rises 0.9m and appears to have had decorative stops at the corners of the bottom step though these are now very worn. The cross is Listed Grade II and is known locally as the Butter Cross which may indicate that it originally had a canopy rather than a simple shaft and cross head. The modern asphalt surface surrounding the cross is excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath it 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.


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

Legacy System number: 27201

Legacy System: RSM


On EH file, Shackleton Hill, Angela, Market Cros, Bawtry, (1994)
South Yorkshire SMR, PI 238, Market Cros, Bawtry,

End of official listing