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Affetside Cross at Affetside 75m north west of the Pack Horse Inn

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: Affetside Cross at Affetside 75m north west of the Pack Horse Inn

List entry Number: 1014120


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


District: Bury

District Type: Metropolitan Authority


National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 02-Oct-1950

Date of most recent amendment: 25-Jan-1996

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 25721

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.

The cross at Affetside is directly on the west side of the Roman road from Manchester to Ribchester which became a medieval route known as Watling Street. The present structure is a replacement of an earlier medieval cross and survives in its original location. It is on a commanding point of the high road and serves to remind us of medieval travellers and the importance of religion in medieval life.


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


The monument includes a post-medieval cross on three steps at Affetside on the west side of Watling Street. The cross has been recently incorporated into a small paved area surrounded by decorative stonework which has been built to protect the cross and provide a refuge from the traffic. The cross stands directly beside the road edge. The cross shaft is cut from a single piece of local gritstone and is set in a socle of two stones on two steps. The first step is circular and measures 2.28m in diameter and 0.1m high. The second step is 1.6m in diameter and 0.24m high. The socle is 1m in diameter and 0.25m high. The shaft is of pillar form with a square base 0.34m wide tapering to a column 1.43m high. At 1.34m there is a collar surmounted by a bun shaped capital. Cut into the top is a socket which once held a cross head or stone ball. The cross stands on the former Roman road from Manchester to Ribchester now called Watling Street. It replaces a medieval waymarker at this point on the road. The present shaft is post-medieval and represents a market cross for the village and surrounding hamlets. The surface of the road and the stone paving surrounding the cross are excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath these features is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 1 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Some Old Bolton Suburbs, (1985), 3
Billington, W D , From Affetside to Yarrow, Bolton Place-names, (1982), 1
Greater Manchester Sites and Monuments Record, (1994)

National Grid Reference: SD 75466 13686


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This copy shows the entry on 24-Feb-2018 at 06:20:24.

End of official listing