Wayside Cross at Ampney Crucis


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1014411

Date first listed: 26-Jul-1996


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

County: Gloucestershire

District: Cotswold (District Authority)

Parish: Ampney Crucis

National Grid Reference: SP0663801887


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 shaft being broken, the wayside cross at Ampney Crucis survives well in what is likely to be its original location. This forms one of a pair of crosses in Ampney Crucis, the other being located in the churchyard c.130m to the west with a path linking the two.


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


The monument includes part of a wayside cross shaft embedded in its original socket on a pedestal, situated in an elevated position at the roadside beside a footpath to Holy Rood Church in Ampney Crucis. The stone pedestal of the cross is square incorporating two calvary steps. The base of the pedestal is 1.6m long and 0.4m high and forms the first step. Above this is the second step comprising a stone slab 1.15m square and 0.25m high. The socket stone sits above this and is 0.7m square and 0.55m high with chamfered corners. The socket in which the shaft is embedded is 0.3m square. The broken shaft measures 0.7m high and tapers from its basal width of 0.3m to c.0.2m wide, being square at the base then chamfered to a cylindrical section. This wayside cross has been dated to the 14th century.

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: 22094

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Cox, J C, Little Guide to Gloucestershire, (1949), 43

End of official listing