Churchyard cross, All Saints churchyard


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013531

Date first listed: 06-Nov-1995


Ordnance survey map of Churchyard cross, All Saints churchyard
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1013531 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 17-Dec-2018 at 09:33:41.


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

County: Lincolnshire

District: East Lindsey (District Authority)

Parish: Friskney

National Grid Reference: TF 46065 55378


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.

The churchyard cross at All Saints Church, Friskney, is a good example of a complete medieval standing cross with a rare carved base. Situated to the south east of the south porch it is believed to stand in or near its original position, and archaeological deposits relating to the monument's construction and use are likely to survive intact. The restoration of the shaft and head has resulted in the continued function of the cross as a public monument and amenity.


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


The monument includes a Grade I Listed standing stone cross located in the churchyard of All Saints Church, Friskney, to the south east of the south porch. The cross is medieval in origin and was restored in the late 19th century. The monument includes the base, comprising a plinth and a socket stone, the shaft and head.

The plinth is square in section, constructed of four stone slabs resting on a brick and stone foundation. On it stands the medieval socket stone, a limestone block square in section at the base with chamfered corners. The sides of the socket stone are carved with the symbols of the Four Evangelists in deep relief: on the north face an eagle (St John), with the head at the north west corner; on the west face a man (St Matthew), with an animal-like body, and the head at the south west corner; on the south face a lion (St Mark), the head on the south east corner; and on the east face an ox (St Luke), the head on the north east corner. Set into the top of the socket stone with concrete is the shaft, rectangular in section at the base and chamfered above to taper upwards in octagonal section. The head takes the form of a gabled cross carved with a representation of the Crucifixion on each main face and a shallow, trefoil-headed niche on each of the other two sides. Both the shaft and head were missing until 1879 when they were discovered beneath the church floor; they were subsequently restored and re-erected on the socket stone. The full height of the cross is nearly 4m.

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: 22693

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Pevsner, N, Harris, J, Antram, N, The Buildings of England: Lincolnshire, (1989), 289-290
'Kelly's Directory' in Kelly's Directory, (1909), 194
Davies, D S, 'Lincolnshire Notes & Queries' in Ancient Stone Crosses in Lindsey and Holland Divisions of Lincs, , Vol. XIII no5, (1915), 146-147
TF 45 NE 6/43, Department of the Environment, Listed Building description,

End of official listing