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Village cross with sundial and stocks

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: Village cross with sundial and stocks

List entry Number: 1013299


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

County: North Yorkshire

District: Harrogate

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Ripley

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 06-Mar-1953

Date of most recent amendment: 10-Jul-1995

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 26928

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

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.

Although only the base of the medieval cross remains, it survives well and stands in its original site. The ground around the base is largely undisturbed and will provide important evidence of its original setting. The monument also retains some unusual later features in the form of an elaborate polyhedral sundial and a pair of adjacent stocks. The presence of both a sundial and stocks at the monument indicates the continued use of the cross as a social focus from the medieval period into the 18th century and beyond.


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


The monument includes the village cross and adjacent stocks which stand in a cobbled square in Ripley. The cross has a square base of five steps, the lowest being 3m wide, all made of worn gritstone blocks tied together with iron staples. The base supports a plain octagonal shaft 1.25m high, socketed into a square stone plinth with a chamfered top. The shaft is surmounted by a square slab carrying a cubiform block, with chamfered corners. On each cardinal face is the remains of the lead for the gnomon of a sundial. The base is 15th century and the shaft and sundial a later addition of the 18th century. The stocks stand 0.5m to the south of the base of the cross and comprise two stone uprights 0.6m high and 1.38m apart. There are grooves on the inside faces, slotted into which is a wooden two-piece footboard containing four roughly oval holes now fastened with iron staples so that the upper piece can no longer move. The stocks are thought to be contemporary with the cross shaft and sundial, and their positioning close to the base of the cross is possibly so that the victim sat on the lower step. Both the cross and stocks are 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.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Holbrook, M , 'Science Preserved; a Directory of Scientific Instuments in UK' in Sundials, (1990)
DOE, Listed building description,

National Grid Reference: SE 28397 60516


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This copy shows the entry on 19-Feb-2018 at 10:32:38.

End of official listing