Wayside cross 500m north of Sutton End Farm


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
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Date first listed:
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Ordnance survey map of Wayside cross 500m north of Sutton End Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Cheshire East (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SJ 95617 69229

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 wayside cross at Sutton End Farm is a standing wayside cross in its original location and in a good state of preservation. This cross would have indicated the route of a medieval track across the moors towards the east. The type of carving is medieval in its style and may be early medieval to be compared with examples cut on grave slabs in Durham. It was probably set up as a waymarker by a local religious house now lost to our knowledge. A similar waymarker is the Shepherds Cross at Biddulph about five miles to the south west in Staffordshire.


The monument includes a Grade II Listed wayside standing cross 500m north of Sutton End Farm and is located beside a minor road leading from Cophurst Edge Farm in Sutton to Wildboarclough.

The standing cross is set up on a bank on the north side of the road 2m from the road edge. It is earthfast 0.75m above the road surface. The cross stands 1.74m high and consists of a freestone block set upright with a cross cut in relief on the west and east faces. The block is 0.28m thick at the base and tapers to 0.12m at the top. The east face is 0.69m wide at the base and 0.51m wide at the top. The cross is roughly equal-armed and occupies the top quarter of the stone. The east face is similar and has a date - 1887 - cut into the stone which is a later addition and may be a surveyor's mark. This face has also been cut with an OS bench mark on the left side near the ground.

The cross can be dated to the early medieval period from its style. It stands in its original position and is known locally as the Cross o' the Moor or the Greenway Cross. The stone wall to the north of the monument is excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath it is included.

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.

This list entry was subject to a Minor Amendment on 18/08/2011


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

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Books and journals
Cramp, R, Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Stone Sculpture in England: Volume I, (1984), 152


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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