Wayside cross known as Hudscott Cross at Winson Cross


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013725

Date first listed: 12-Mar-1953

Date of most recent amendment: 15-Nov-1995


Ordnance survey map of Wayside cross known as Hudscott Cross at Winson Cross
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Devon

District: North Devon (District Authority)

Parish: Chittlehampton

National Grid Reference: SS6440725019


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.

Hudscott Cross is not in its original position, but it survives well as a fine example of its class. The circumstances of its removal and the location from which it was taken, are all well documented.


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


This monument includes a wayside cross, formerly a churchyard cross, situated at Winson Cross, a junction between the B3227 and an unclassified road to Chittlehampton. The cross is thought to have come from the churchyard at Chittlehampton, where the original socket stone remains. The cross was erected in this position by the Rolle family, who also constructed the tall octagonal masonry pedestal onto which the cross was placed. The cross is known locally as the Hudscott Cross, and it is thought to be late medieval. It is a granite Latin cross which has an incised Latin cross on the western face between the arms, and an incised rectangular recess on the eastern face. The shaft is square at the base, approximately 0.42m thick and tapers upwards. Beneath the arms is a collar which is 0.32m thick. The arms are approximately 0.56m wide, the width of the head is some 0.3m and the cross is 1.9m high. The cross-shaped recess is 0.05m wide at the base, 0.2m wide at the arms, 0.3m long and 0.02m deep. The pedestal is octagonal in shape. The base is constructed of local stone, measures 2m in diameter by 1.1m high and has three steps. Above is an octagonal plinth of white stone which is 1.5m high. Over the plinth is a wood, slate and lead lined sloping roof-like structure which protects the plinth from the weather. The ancient cross is set into this structure. The whole pedestal has been repaired by Devon County Council Highways Department. The cross is Listed Grade II.

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: 27326

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Masson Phillips, E M, 'Transactions of the Devonshire Association' in The Ancient Stone Crosses of Devon, Part 2, , Vol. 70, (1938), 311
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SS62NW-018, (1982)
MPP fieldwork by H. Gerrard, (1994)

End of official listing