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Medieval cross base 150m south of Holy Rood Church

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: Medieval cross base 150m south of Holy Rood Church

List entry Number: 1013675

Location

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

County: Dorset

District: North Dorset

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Shillingstone

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 04-Oct-1957

Date of most recent amendment: 29-Nov-1995

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 27343

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.

Despite the loss of the original shaft and its replacement by a 19th century replica the base of the standing cross at Shillingstone survives in its original position and remains an important example of its class.

History

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

Details

The monument includes the base of a late medieval standing cross situated on the east side of the Blandford Road close to its junction with Church Road. At this point the Blandford Road is known as The Cross. The cross has a stone base, surmounted by two stone steps, a socket stone and a cross shaft and head. The base stone is square, 3m by 2.9m and 0.1m high, with moulded sides and corners. The lower step is 2.9m by 2.85m and 0.5m high, and the upper step 1m by 1.05m and 0.55m high. Above the upper step is a square chamfered plinth 1.25m square and 0.55m high on which rests a socket stone of Ham stone, 1.05m square and 0.55m high. This stone is octagonal at the top and square at the base with four sunken panels which were originally carved but are now very worn. The original square shaft, which has been sawn off level with the top of the socket, was set diagonally in the socket stone and was run in with lead. The present cross shaft was erected on the base in 1891 and the elaborate head, in 15th century style, at a later date. The cross is Listed Grade II. The cross shaft and head are excluded from the scheduling. Also excluded from the scheduling are all paved and metalled surfaces which fall within the protective margin around the cross, although the ground beneath 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.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Pope, A, Old Stone Crosses of Dorset, (1906), 106-7

National Grid Reference: ST 82461 11316

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 - 1013675 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 17-Nov-2017 at 05:42:38.

End of official listing