Cross in the churchyard of All Saints' Church


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012936

Date first listed: 11-Sep-1995


Ordnance survey map of Cross in the churchyard of All Saints' Church
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Doncaster (Metropolitan Authority)

Parish: Hooton Pagnell

National Grid Reference: SE 48532 07940


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 original cross shaft and head, the cross in All Saints' churchyard is a good example of a simple churchyard cross which appears to be in its original location. Its moulded socle is reasonably well preserved and its proximity to the church suggests that it played an important role in religious festivals during the Middle Ages though it may alternatively have had a sepulchral function.


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


The monument is located roughly 4m south of All Saints' Church and includes the remains of a medieval churchyard cross, which is Listed Grade II. The remains include the socle or socket stone of the cross and an 18th or 19th century sundial whose pillar has replaced the original cross shaft and head. The latter were probably removed due to religious iconoclasm in the 16th or 17th century. The medieval socle consists of a dressed octagonal magnesian limestone block with rounded half-stops on alternate faces. It measures 35cm high and was originally approximately 80cm square. However, on the north side the half-stops have been cut away and replaced by a magnesian limestone slab dressed to fit the cut edge. This slab was added to provide a step-up to the sundial which would, otherwise, have been out of sight. It can also be seen that the step was shaped to fit round a previously existing grave slab which also lies to the north of the cross. The column of the sundial comprises a roughly square-section shaft with chamfered corners and a square pedestal and capital. In the top are the peg holes for the missing sundial gnomen. The shaft measures 1.3m high and, in section, measures 25cm by 28cm. These dimensions are somewhat at odds with those of the medieval socket hole which measures 27cm by 32cm, the long axis running from east to west. This indicates that the original medieval shaft was more slab-like than the sundial column and probably somewhat taller. It is unlikely that the sundial was in place prior to c.1730 because it does not appear on two prints of the church of approximately this date, though it is also not clear if the medieval socle is depicted either. Gravestones lying within the area of the scheduling are not included in the scheduling. The gravel path to the north of the cross is excluded from the scheduling, although 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.


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

Legacy System number: 27208

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Morris, J E, West Riding of Yorkshire, (1932), 271
On EH file, Shackleton Hill, Angela , Hooton Pagnell churchyard cross, (1994)
South Yorkshire SMR, PI 361, Hooton Pagnell churchyard cross,
South Yorkshire SMR, PI 361, South Yorkshire Archaeological Service, Hooton Pagnell churchyard cross, (1977)

End of official listing