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White Cross wayside cross at the junction of the roads to Castleton and Commondale

List Entry Summary

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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: White Cross wayside cross at the junction of the roads to Castleton and Commondale

List entry Number: 1012893

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: North Yorkshire

District: Scarborough

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Danby

National Park: NORTH YORK MOORS

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 17-Mar-1964

Date of most recent amendment: 17-Jul-1995

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 25642

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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

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 cross known as White Cross survives well in spite of the removal of its original shaft. It is in its proper location marking the junction of two old routes: the one from Castleton linking Rosedale with Lingdale and the other from Commondale to this main route. It also marks the boundaries of two medieval parishes: Danby and Commondale.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a wayside cross, Listed Grade II, on the south west side of the junction of the road from Castleton northwards and the turn off to Commondale to the west. The cross consists of a medieval cross base and a later broken shaft set into the socket.

White Cross survives as a base of local fine gritstone measuring 0.62m by 0.62m at the ground level tapering slightly to 0.57m by 0.56m. The base is 0.36m high. The shaft is of local gritstone 0.8m high and 0.37m by 0.27m at the socket tapering to 0.31m by 0.24m at the top. The shaft is dressed in a chevron pattern indicating a post medieval date probably in the 19th century. The base is dateable to the medieval period. The east face of the base has the inscription - White Cross.

Each face of the shaft is carved with a simple cross with equal arms 0.22m across. The east face has an OS bench mark cut near the ground. The cross has been whitewashed over the years according to the practice of the Downe Estate.

The cross stands in its original position 2m from the edge of the old route from Castleton across Danby Low Moor. It also acts as a boundary marker for the medieval parishes of Danby and Commondale and now the county constituency of Cleveland and Whitby. The original shaft for this cross is in a museum at Whitby.

The road edge 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.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Graham, L, The Crosses of the North Yorkshire Moors, (1993), 32
Woodwark, T H, Crosses of the North York Moors, (1923), 27

National Grid Reference: NZ 67938 10780

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2017. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1012893 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 24-Nov-2017 at 11:39:03.

End of official listing