Wayside cross on Langsett Moor known as Lady Cross
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
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This copy shows the entry on 20-Sep-2019 at 10:52:05.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- Barnsley (Metropolitan Authority)
- National Park:
- PEAK DISTRICT
- National Grid Reference:
- SK 14838 99738
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
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.
Lady Cross is a reasonably well preserved example of a documented wayside cross which is still in its original location and is associated with an ancient roadway. Its later reuse as a surveyor's triangulation point adds to its interest and importance.
The monument is located on Langsett Moor in the northern gritstone moors of the Peak District. It is a medieval wayside cross and includes the socle or socket stone of the cross, a fragment of the cross shaft which lies partially embedded in the ground next to the socle, and a surveyor's triangulation post which now occupies the socket hole in place of the cross shaft.
The socle comprises a truncated pyramidal gritstone block measuring 90cm x 70cm at the base and roughly 50cm high. Its corners are chamfered at the top so that the upper half is octagonal while the lower half is rectangular. The 20cm square socket hole is approximately 15cm deep.
The recumbent shaft fragment is of the same stone as the socle and measures 20cm x 15cm at the base and approximately 48cm long. Its corners are chamfered except at the bottom where it would have slotted into the socket hole. The upper portion is now missing but was reported formerly to have been in the grounds of Ellerslee Lodge.
Both the cross shaft and socle are undecorated. However, on the upper surface of the socle are several examples of early modern graffiti. Incised on the south side are the initials `IWB'. Immediately to the left is the Roman numeral `XXV' beneath which is an isolated `V' and above which is a small equal-armed cross. On the north side is an `H' with a smaller `D' off the top right corner. On the east side are the poorly inscribed initials `MB' which may be a more recent addition.
Some of this graffiti may relate to the triangulation post currently occupying the socket hole. This feature consists of a 70cm long triangular gritstone pillar with a peg-hole in the top. It measures 15cm on each side widening to 20cm near the base. Its interpretation is based both on its form and prominent location, and on its clear alignment with a modern triangulation point 1km to the north east.
Although much later than the cross, it is likely to be some 200 years old. The cross itself was recorded in 1509, 1547 and 1695 and marks an ancient packhorse route across the moor. It 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:
- Legacy System:
Hill, Angela Shackleton, (1994)
J. Kenworthy MSS (undated), Sheffield City Library Archives 41416.6,
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 Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing