Standing cross known as Bottom Cross


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012925

Date first listed: 04-Jun-1952

Date of most recent amendment: 09-Aug-1995


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

County: Nottinghamshire

District: Gedling (District Authority)

Parish: Linby

National Grid Reference: SK 53601 51133


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.

Linby Bottom Cross is a well preserved and visually impressive example of a later standing cross which is still in its original location and retains all its components though these are not necessarily all of the same date. Its location on a spring outlet is of added interest and shows that, when constructed, it played an important role in religious festivals and other aspects of village life and may also have served as a boundary cross. Its importance is increased by its relationship to Linby Top Cross, located at the opposite end of the village.


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


The monument includes the remains of the standing cross located on the eastern or `bottom' green at Linby. A second cross known as the Top Cross, the subject of a separate scheduling, is located on the western or `top' green. The remains of the Bottom Cross comprise a stepped base, socket stone and shaft surmounted by a capital and cross head which have been dated on stylistic grounds to the late-17th century. The base or calvary of the cross consists of five square steps rising to a height of c.1.75m. Each step is constructed of a double layer of pavings except for the bottom step which has a layer of pavings overlying a layer of blocks. This bottom step has an overall area of c.3.5m square. The socket stone or socle is c.80cm wide and c.40cm thick. It is octagonal with pyramid stops on alternate faces and appears either to consist of two sections sandwiched together or to have included a transverse line of decorative moulding which has been removed. The shaft is of roughly square section and has chamfered edges which splay out at the bottom to create a narrow square pedestal. It tapers slightly towards the square moulded capital which is surmounted by a simple cross head with a plain raised cross on each face and splayed arms with moulded terminals. Together, the shaft, capital and cross head are c.2.5m tall. It is not entirely clear whether all the components of the Bottom Cross are of the same period. The date 1663 is inscribed on the east face of the capital and is understood to be a relatively recent recut of the same date previously noted on the west face but now too faint to see from ground level. This date suggests that the capital and cross head were erected during the relaxation of religious iconoclasm in England following the Restoration of Charles II. The base, however, is little different in construction and state of wear from that of the Top Cross and may be of a similar late medieval or early post-medieval date. In addition, the shaft is much more worn than the capital and cross head and may also date to an earlier period. This suggests that either of the two crosses may be that recorded in a perambulation of 1505 as marking the boundary of Sherwood Forest. It should also be noted that the cross is built on a rock from which a spring emerges. This juxtaposition also suggests a medieval origin for the cross. The spring currently runs through a modern culvert which, where it lies within the area of scheduling, is not excluded from the scheduling as works to it will disturb archaeological remains relating to the cross. The surrounding fence is excluded from the scheduling, however, 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. It includes a 2 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: 23370

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Williamson, E, The Buildings of England: Nottinghamshire, (1979), 165
Shackleton Hill, Angela, (1994)
Stapleton, A., New Notes on Nottinghamshire Crosses, 1911,
Stapleton, A., Notes on Nottinghamshire Crosses, 1903,

End of official listing