Cross base at Salterswall on the road junction 150m WNW of Westholme Farm
- 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)
- National Grid Reference:
- SJ 62727 67013
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
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 cross at Salterswall survives reasonably well and stands in its original location beside a medieval road into Vale Royal Abbey. It is one of a small group of surviving crosses in the area to the west of the abbey. The monument serves to remind us of the piety expected of the medieval traveller and the importance of the abbey in the medieval landscape.
The monument includes a sandstone cross base set in the grass verge at the
junction of two minor roads in the centre of the village of Salterswall.
The monument is a red sandstone block measuring 0.64m by 0.64m and stands
0.13m high. In the top of the block is a shallow depression representing the
socket hole for the missing cross shaft. This measures 0.34m by 0.34m and is
0.3m deep. A groove has been cut in the wall of the socket on the west side to
allow rainwater to run out of the socket hole. There are traces of whitewash
on the surface of the block.
The cross base is in its original location and was a wayside cross marking one
of the routes into the precinct of Vale Royal Abbey which lies to the north
east two miles away. The cross is one of a group of wayside crosses on the
west side of the abbey.
The two markers for a water main which lie one metre to the north of the cross
base, and the surface of the pavement to the west are not included in the
scheduling, although the ground beneath these features 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:
- Legacy System:
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