Standing cross known as Beaumond Cross


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012880

Date first listed: 06-Jul-1927

Date of most recent amendment: 15-Jun-1995


Ordnance survey map of Standing cross known as Beaumond Cross
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Nottinghamshire

District: Newark and Sherwood (District Authority)

Parish: Newark

National Grid Reference: SK 79941 53564


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 not in its original location, Beaumond Cross is a good example of a richly ornamented medieval standing cross with documented historical associations. Though suffering from the effects of weathering, its ornamentation is still reasonably well-preserved and illustrates well the art and architectural forms of the period.


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


The monument includes the socle and shaft of a medieval standing cross standing on a modern calvary of four octagonal steps. The socle or socket stone is a moulded and decorated octagonal block with a battered (sloping) pedestal and is approximately 1m high and 1m in diameter. It is surmounted by a slender, tapering, fluted column which rises 3.5m to an ornate cross head which increases the height of the shaft to approximately 4m. At the base of the shaft is a recess containing a robed figure with raised hands. The figure is apparently male and may be a saint or a representation of Christ. The cross has been moved from its original location at the junction of Lombard Street, Carter Gate, Portland Street and London Road and now stands off London Road in Beaumond Gardens. There is some suggestion that it is an Eleanor Cross but there is also recorded evidence to suggest that it is a memorial to Viscount Beaumont, erected by his widow following his death at the Battle of Towmont on 29 March 1461. Records also indicate that it was repaired by Charles Mellich in 1778 and repaired again in 1801 by the Corporation. It was moved to its present location in c.1965 and, in addition to being scheduled, 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: 23396

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Rimmer, A, The Ancient Stone Crosses of England, (1875), 70-2
'Transactions of the Thoroton Society' in Transactions of the Thoroton Society, , Vol. 23, (1919), 15
Brown, C, (1904)
Hill, Angela Shackleton, (1994)
Lawson Lowe, A E, (1876)

End of official listing