Allington village cross


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


Ordnance survey map of Allington village cross
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. 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.

South Kesteven (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SK 85680 40219

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.

Allington village cross is a good example of the remains of a village cross which has continued in use as a monument from medieval times to the present day. The form of the medieval cross is well understood through documentary sources, and its post-medieval successor is believed to stand on the same site. Minimal development of the area immediately surrounding the cross indicates that archaeological deposits relating to the monument's construction and use are likely to survive intact.


The monument includes Allington village cross, a standing stone cross located on the village green to the east of the church. The cross is of stepped form and is principally constructed of limestone. It is medieval in origin and was rebuilt in the later 19th century. The monument includes the foundation, base, comprising three steps and a socket-stone, the shaft, knop and head.

The foundation includes a platform of concrete slabs up to 0.3m in height and covering an area approximately 3.3m square. The base includes three steps, the lowest approximately 2.15m square, the second 1.5m square and the third 0.88m square; all three are chamfered. On the top step stands the socket-stone, composed of two slabs: the lower is 0.6m square in section at the base rising in octagonal section through chamfered corners; the upper is also octagonal in section and is moulded above into the shaft-base. The full height of the socket-stone is about 0.6m. Set into the middle of the socket-stone is the shaft, composed of five stones of tapering octagonal section. The knop is of octagonal section, and the head takes the form of a simple crucifix. The knop and lower part of the shaft are 19th century in date, while the head and upper part of the shaft are 20th century in date. The full height of the cross is nearly 4m.

The cross is Listed Grade II. The concrete foundations for benches which adjoin the cross on the north east and south east sides are not included in the scheduling although the ground beneath them is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 1 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:


Books and journals
Nattes, J C, Allington Cross, (1805)
White, W, History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Lincolnshire, (1856)
Davies, D S, 'Lincolnshire Notes and Queries' in Ancient Stone Crosses in Kesteven, , Vol. XII no.5, (1913), 132


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

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