Village cross at Aylburton


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1014406

Date first listed: 09-Jun-1953

Date of most recent amendment: 28-Jun-1996


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

County: Gloucestershire

District: Forest of Dean (District Authority)

Parish: Aylburton

National Grid Reference: SO 61723 01789


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.

Despite the socket stone, shaft and head being absent, the village cross at Lydney survives well with many of its original elements intact. Its position by the roadside makes it an imposing monument and a landmark in the village.


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


The monument includes a village cross on a five step calvary, situated by the side of the road at a road junction in the village of Aylburton. The cross includes a five step calvary and pedestal. The first step of the calvary is 4.25m square and 0.3m high. The other four steps rising from this decrease in size with the top step being 1.15m square. Each step is c.0.3m high. These five steps are composed of old weathered stone blocks cemented together. Above this is a pedestal or capital. The capital is in the form of four canopied niches c.2m high. The first two steps of the calvary are built of red sandstone; the remainder of the steps and capital of grey forest stone. The total height of the cross is c.3.6m. The stone blocks of the calvary and the capital are early 14th century, but the shaft and head are later. A plate of the cross depicted in Pooley's notes published in 1868 shows the cross in the same condition as today, without socket stone and shaft. Pooley notes that the cross was repaired about 1841. The cross is Listed Grade II*. Excluded from the scheduling are the flagstone paved surface and cast iron bollards where these fall within the cross's protective margin, although the ground beneath 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: 28516

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Pooley, C, Notes on the Old Crosses of Gloucestershire, (1868), 62
Pooley, C, Notes on the Old Crosses of Gloucestershire, (1868), 64
Pooley, C, Notes on the Old Crosses of Gloucestershire, (1868), 61

End of official listing