Village Cross


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1014003

Date first listed: 11-Nov-1946

Date of most recent amendment: 12-Feb-1996


Ordnance survey map of Village Cross
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: North Lincolnshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Barrow upon Humber

National Grid Reference: TA 07074 21087


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.

Although consolidated and restored at different periods of time, and lacking its cross head, the Barrow upon Humber cross survives in moderate condition. It is located in its original position in the centre of the village and has important local historical significance.


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


The monument includes the remains of a medieval stone cross shaft and base, situated in the centre of the village of Barrow upon Humber. It stands adjacent to the corner of a road junction, in a modern car park that was clearly once the village green. The cross shaft survives to a total height of 2.2m, base and shaft combined, but lacks the upper part of the shaft and the cross head. The cross shaft itself, which is very worn and weathered, stands 0.87m high and 0.38m square, and is set into a square socket within two tiers of stone approximately 0.65m square. There is a deep groove running down the western side of the cross shaft, about 3cm wide. The cross shaft and two tiers of stone are set upon a broad stone base 1.95m square and 0.5m high, and the whole has been stabilised by a modern concrete setting 2.45m square and 10cm high. Modern lead strips have been inset into the junction of the stone tiers to consolidate and stabilise the whole monument. The south west corner of the monument lies upon the edge of the road junction, and where it impinges on the road, the modern road surface is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath it is included.

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: 26571

Legacy System: RSM


Currie, Dr E.J., MPPA Site Visit, (1995)

End of official listing