Standing cross on the west side of High Street


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012871

Date first listed: 13-Mar-1957

Date of most recent amendment: 12-Jun-1995


Ordnance survey map of Standing cross on the west side of High Street
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This copy shows the entry on 23-Jan-2019 at 17:33:51.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Nottinghamshire

District: Newark and Sherwood (District Authority)

Parish: Collingham

National Grid Reference: SK8321462333


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 on the west side of High Street, though incomplete and not in its original location, is a reasonably well-preserved example of a large, ornate standing cross with possible important historical associations.


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


The monument includes the remains of a large and visually impressive medieval standing cross which comprises a massive base or calvary of three limestone steps leading to an ornate socket stone or socle surmounted by the lower portion of a substantial cross shaft. The cross shaft would originally have been approximately three times its present height and would have been surmounted by a cross head or decorative spire. A missing component of the shaft is alleged to have been identified at a nearby farm but this is not confirmed. In addition, the cross is no longer in its original location having been moved in 1971 c.20m from its former site on the east side of High Street. The calvary covers an area of c.2.75m and has a total height of 1.2m. The steps, from the base upward, measure 50cm, 40cm and 30cm high respectively. The socle has an overall height of 75cm of which the lower 50cm consists of a finely dressed block measuring c.80cm square. The upper corners of this block are moulded to form rounded stops within triangular chamfers. The top section of the socle is octagonal and tapers inward as it rises to an octagonal collar. The surviving portion of the shaft is c.90cm high and c.40cm square at the base. It tapers towards the top and has chamfered edges decorated with foliage mouldings. The scale and style of the cross, together with its possible location on the route taken by the funeral cortege of Queen Eleanor of Castile (d.1290), wife of Edward I, has led to speculation that the monument is an Eleanor Cross. In addition, the cross is sometimes known locally as the Butter Cross and its original site referred to as Butter Corner. The modern paved surface surrounding the cross is excluded from the scheduling though the ground underneath is included. The cross is Listed Grade II.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


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

Legacy System number: 23368

Legacy System: RSM


Photoes/archive in local museum, Collingham museum,
Shackleton Hill, Angela, (1994)
Stapleton, A., (1903)
Wake, E G, (1867)

End of official listing