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Butler's Cross

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: Butler's Cross

List entry Number: 1013574

Location

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

County: Norfolk

District: King's Lynn and West Norfolk

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Sandringham

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 03-Nov-1965

Date of most recent amendment: 30-Aug-1996

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 21383

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.

Butler's Cross is a good example of a medieval boundary cross. It is known to have stood in its present location at a road junction since at least the 16th century, and archaeological deposits relating to its construction and use are likely to survive in the ground immediately around and beneath it. Its historical association with both Rising Chase and the de Boteler family give it additional interest, and it has continued in use as a public monument from the medieval period to the present day.

History

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

Details

The monument includes the remains of a standing stone cross located at the junction of the B1439 to West Newton and the A149. The ruins of St Felix's Church and the site of the medieval village of Babingley lie 1km to the west. The cross is medieval in date and constructed of stone in two parts, a socket stone and a shaft, standing on a platform of post-medieval bricks surrounded by a stone kerb. The basal platform stands 0.2m high above the surrounding surface and is square in plan with dimensions of 1.5m on each side. The socket stone which forms the lower part of the cross measures 0.5m in height and c.0.65m square at the foot, with chamfered angles in its upper parts, so that the upper surface is octagonal. At the centre of the upper surface is a square mortice into which the foot of the cross shaft is set in lead, and above this the weathered stump of the shaft stands to a height of 0.2m. The cross once marked the boundary of Rising Chase and is shown on a map of the Chase dated 1588. The name `Butler's Cross' derives from the de Botelers who held the manor of West Hall, Babingley, from the mid-13th century. The cross is enclosed by low iron railings which are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them is included. Attached to the railing is a cast iron plaque with an inscription recording the name of the cross and the boundary which it marked.

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.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Blomefield, F, An Essay towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk, (1805), 848
Alison, K J, 'Norfolk Archaeology' in The Lost Villages of Norfolk, , Vol. 31, (1957), 143

National Grid Reference: TF 67590 26383

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2017. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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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 - 1013574 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 18-Nov-2017 at 10:02:29.

End of official listing