Cross located on the former village green


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012930

Date first listed: 09-Oct-1981

Date of most recent amendment: 11-Sep-1995


Ordnance survey map of Cross located on the former village green
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Rotherham (Metropolitan Authority)

Parish: Thrybergh

National Grid Reference: SK4684395473


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 missing its head, the cross on the former village green at Thrybergh is a reasonably well-preserved example believed to be approximately in its original location. Its importance is enhanced by the unusual form of its carved decoration.


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


The monument is the shaft of a freestanding cross located on the former village green in Thrybergh. Originally there would also have been a cross head but this component is now missing. The gritstone shaft is of slightly tapering rectangular section, measuring c.30cm by 20cm and standing c.1.1m high. The top is shouldered and bevelled and includes four peg-holes into which the cross head would have been fixed. The corners of the shaft are chamfered and include moulded nodules at regular intervals along their length. These mouldings frame carved panels on the east and west faces of the cross but the narrower north and south faces are apparently undecorated. The decoration on the west face comprises a so-called Tree of Life carved in relief and consisting of a central stem with foliage branching off at right-angles. This style of decoration was common in the Anglian period and may indicate a pre-Conquest origin for the cross or, alternatively, Anglian influence on post-Conquest art forms. On the east face of the shaft can be seen faint traces of an incised sword which clearly possesses a broad blade and appears also to have a hogsback pommel. The setting of the cross on the former village green suggests a processional or liturgical use during the Middle Ages. The modern paved surface surrounding the cross is excluded from the scheduling though the ground underneath is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 1 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: 23399

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
'Transactions of the Hunter Archaeological Society' in Transactions of the Hunter Archaeological Society, , Vol. 5, (1943), 50
Collingwood, W G, 'Yorkshire Archaeological Journal' in Anglian and Anglo-Danish Sculpture, , Vol. 23, (1915), 250
Ryder, P F, 'County Archaeological Monograph No.2' in Saxon Churches in South Yorkshire, (1982), 120-121
Ryder, P F, 'County Archaeological Monograph No.2' in Saxon Churches in South Yorkshire, (1982), 120-121
Shackleton Hill, Angela, (1994)

End of official listing