Wayside cross south of Hartcliff Road


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012156

Date first listed: 27-Feb-1995


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

District: Barnsley (Metropolitan Authority)

Parish: Penistone

National Grid Reference: SE 23400 02053

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 Hartcliff Road cross is a well preserved and visually impressive example of a wayside cross which is still in its original location and is associated with an ancient roadway.


The monument is a late medieval or early post-medieval wayside cross and includes the socle or socket stone of the cross and the remains of the shaft. The upper portion of the shaft, which would have included an integral cross head, is now missing, possibly due to religious iconoclasm in the 16th or 17th century. The socle comprises a dressed gritstone block measuring approximately 1m x 90cm at the base and 48cm high. The top edge and upper corners of the socle are chamfered but the socle is otherwise undecorated. The gritstone shaft, which is currently mortared into the socket hole, is of tapering rectangular section with chamfered corners and is decorated at its base with narrow pyramidal stops on each corner. The shaft measures 40cm x 20cm at the base and survives to a height of 95cm. Originally, it would have been approximately 2m tall. The shaft is undecorated but includes several examples of 18th or 19th century graffiti. Towards the top on the south west face is an incised `T'. On the south east face are the possible beginnings of another `T' though this, in fact, may be the result of weathering. Near the base on the south east face are the initials `HA' while, close to the top on the north east face, are the poorly inscribed initials `GWP'. Lastly, on the north west face, roughly 30cm from the base, is an inverted cross. The cross is orientated north east to south west, parallel with Hartcliff Road. It lies approximately 30m south of the modern road yet appears to be in its original location. This suggests that the line of the road has changed and that the cross marks its earlier route. As the road originated as a packhorse route across open moorland, the change probably dates to the enclosure of the moor in c.1800. The cross is Listed Grade II.

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: 27213

Legacy System: RSM


Hill, Angela Shackleton, (1994)
South Yorkshire SMR: PI 332, Wayside Cross, Hartcliff Road,

End of official listing