This browser is not fully supported by Historic England. Please update your browser to the latest version so that you get the best from our website.

Village cross at the crossroads north of Saintbury village

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: Village cross at the crossroads north of Saintbury village

List entry Number: 1014396

Location

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

County: Gloucestershire

District: Cotswold

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Saintbury

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 25-Sep-1954

Date of most recent amendment: 26-Jul-1996

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 28504

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.

Despite the shaft and head being later than the calvary, the village cross at Saintbury survives well with many of its original elements intact in what is likely to be its original location beside the road. Its position on the roadside verge makes it an imposing monument and serves as a protection from passing traffic.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a village cross on a three step calvary, situated on a crossroads c.0.6km north of the village of Saintbury. The cross is complete and sits on a grass verge on the north side of the crossroads at the bottom of the hill which leads to the village. The cross includes a plinth, a three step calvary, socket stone, shaft, thickened terminal and head. The plinth, composed of stone slabs, is 2.8m square. The first step of the calvary resting on this is 2.2m square and 0.25m high; the next step is 1.625m square and 0.25m high, and the third step is 1.2m square and 0.3m high. Above this the socket stone is 0.7m square and 0.35m high with chamfered corners and a chamfered top edge. The socket in which the shaft is embedded is 0.3m square. The shaft, with broaches at its base, is a tapering octagon, c.2m high, surmounted by a sundial and Maltese Cross. The plinth and stone blocks of the calvary are c.15th century in date; the socket stone, shaft and head are later. The sundial and Maltese Cross decoration was erected about the middle of the last century. Before this a painted stone pineapple ornamented the top. The cross is reputed to have been the resting place for funeral processions before starting up the hill to the church. Excluded from the scheduling are the kerb stones and the metalled road surface where these fall within the cross's protective margin, although the ground beneath these 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
Pooley, C, Notes on the Old Crosses of Gloucestershire, (1868), 20-21

National Grid Reference: SP 11677 40257

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.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

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 - 1014396 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 20-Nov-2017 at 08:00:01.

End of official listing