The Longstone, a part of a cross shaft on Longstone Lane at the junction with Shay's Lane


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Cheshire West and Chester (Unitary Authority)
Little Budworth
Cheshire West and Chester (Unitary Authority)
Whitegate and Marton
National Grid Reference:
SJ 58926 67686

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 wayside cross known as the Longstone survives in its original position beside the medieval road which led to Vale Royal Abbey. Although only a fragment of the cross shaft survives and it is set on a modern base it is one of a group of four existing wayside crosses along the routes into the Abbey. Very few such crosses survive in Cheshire.


The monument includes a cross shaft fragment set on a modern sandstone base on a concrete plinth. It is situated on the south side of the road known as Longstone Lane where it meets Shay's Lane. The name of the lane indicates that the cross is in its original position as a wayside marker. The shaft is of red sandstone and is 0.32m wide at the base and 0.3m deep. It stands 0.49m high from the base. The north edge faces the road and is broken away at a point 0.2m from the base to make it only 0.1m thick above the break. The whole is worn to rounded edges on all sides. The base is composed of three stones placed so as to form a base 0.98m wide on the north side and 0.5m deep. This is mounted on a concrete plinth to make a stepped base rising from 1.4m wide on the side facing the road. The site of the cross is on the medieval road and later coach road which led to Vale Royal Abbey. There is another cross base 700m west called the Headless Cross, a cross base 400m WNW also on Longstone Lane and a cross base at Whitegates beside this road and as a group they point to a set of waymarkers skirting the Abbots Moss and taking the medieval traveller to the abbey. This cross is also on the boundary between the parishes of Whitegate and Marton and Little Budworth. It is Listed Grade II. The surface of the road beside the monument 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.


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Title: Map of Cheshire Source Date: 1831 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:


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 Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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