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The Maiden's Cross, wayside cross 520m SSW of Four Lane Ends

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: The Maiden's Cross, wayside cross 520m SSW of Four Lane Ends

List entry Number: 1013785

Location

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

County:

District: Cheshire West and Chester

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Alvanley

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: 25711

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

Wayside crosses are one of several types of Christian cross erected during the medieval period, mostly from the 9th to 15th centuries AD. In addition to serving the function of reiterating and reinforcing the Christian faith amongst those who passed the cross and of reassuring the traveller, wayside crosses often fulfilled a role as waymarkers, especially in difficult and otherwise unmarked terrain. The crosses might be on regularly used routes linking ordinary settlements or on routes having a more specifically religious function, including those providing access to religious sites for parishioners and funeral processions, or marking long-distance routes frequented on pilgrimages. Over 350 wayside crosses are known nationally, concentrated in south west England throughout Cornwall and on Dartmoor where they form the commonest type of stone cross. A small group also occurs on the North York Moors. Relatively few examples have been recorded elsewhere and these are generally confined to remote moorland locations. Outside Cornwall almost all wayside crosses take the form of a `Latin' cross, in which the cross-head itself is shaped within the projecting arms of an unenclosed cross. In Cornwall wayside crosses vary considerably in form and decoration. The commonest type includes a round, or `wheel', head on the faces of which various forms of cross or related designs were carved in relief or incised, the spaces between the cross arms possibly pierced. The design was sometimes supplemented with a relief figure of Christ and the shaft might bear decorative panels and motifs. Less common forms in Cornwall include the `Latin' cross and, much rarer, the simple slab with a low relief cross on both faces. Rare examples of wheel-head and slab-form crosses also occur within the North York Moors group. Most wayside crosses have either a simple socketed base or show no evidence for a separate base at all. Wayside crosses contribute significantly to our understanding of medieval religious customs and sculptural traditions and to our knowledge of medieval routeways and settlement patterns. All wayside crosses which survive as earth- fast monuments, except those which are extremely damaged and removed from their original locations, are considered worthy of protection.

The Maiden's Cross cross base has lost a shaft and has been tipped over on its side. The base survives in good condition and it is in its original location as both a wayside cross and a marker for the old boundary between Alvanley and Manley. Such a survival in Cheshire is rare.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a cross base known as the Maiden's Cross on the east side of the road from Simmonds Hill to Four Lane Ends and on the parish boundary separating Alvanley and Manley. The base is a large block of local sandstone with coarse pebble inclusions and has a square slot carved in the side facing west. This side used to be the top and so the slot forms the socket hole for a cross shaft. The block is buried to halfway across the socle and the measurements of the sides visible are 0.85m wide by 0.48m deep and 0.45m high. The socket measures 0.35m by 0.37m and is 0.34m deep. The original top of the block has chamfered edges 0.17m wide. The whole is worn but complete. The cross stands in its original location beside the road and on the parish boundary. The surface of the road is 1.3m to the west and is excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath is included. The cross is Listed Grade II.

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

Other
Cheshire Sites and Monuments Record, (1994)

National Grid Reference: SJ 51436 73569

Map

Map
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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 - 1013785 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 21-Nov-2017 at 05:56:51.

End of official listing