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Standing cross base near the junction of Church Lane and Woodhouse Lane, 600m NNW of New Hall Farm

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: Standing cross base near the junction of Church Lane and Woodhouse Lane, 600m NNW of New Hall Farm

List entry Number: 1013783

Location

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

County:

District: Cheshire East

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Gawsworth

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 23-Nov-1995

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 25707

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.

This cross is an unusual structure in that the top two steps are cut from the solid stone. The two steps at the base are of well dressed stone and are worn severely on the east side. Its function was as a preaching cross before the building of the parish church 750m to the SSE and the shift of the village centre to the area around the Hall. The cross survives well in spite of the loss of the head and the wear of the existing stones. It serves to remind us of the importance of the church in regulating the affairs of a small village and marks the older focus of the settlement.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a cross base for a medieval preaching cross at the junction of two roads in the centre of the original village of Gawsworth. The cross consists of a plinth of dressed gritstone blocks rising to two steps surmounted by a gritstone block cut into two steps with a fragment of the shaft pinned and cemented to the top. The steps are square and measure 2m wide on the west side and stand 0.17m above the turf. The second step measures 1.4m and is 0.2m high. The base block is also square and measures 0.9m at the bottom with a step 0.3m high rising to a step 0.64m wide and 0.24m high. The shaft fragment is squared in section and 0.35m wide on the west side. It stands 0.83m high. It stands in its original position beside the road junction on what is now a fenced triangular lawn known locally as the Pleasance. It is set back from the road edge by 1.4m and 0.5m above the present level. The fence and road surface to the west of the monument are excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath them 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
Richards, R, The Manor of Gawsworth147

National Grid Reference: SJ 88844 70430

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 - 1013783 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 19-Nov-2017 at 10:52:09.

End of official listing