Cross base on Standish Wood Lane 700m south east of Standish Hall


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


Ordnance survey map of Cross base on Standish Wood Lane 700m south east of Standish Hall
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Wigan (Metropolitan Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SD 56268 08772

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.

The base of the cross on Standish Lane survives in its original position beside an old road in spite of the loss of its shaft. There may be remains of its steps embedded in the hedge bank which partly covers the base block. It is one of a group of four medieval crosses intended as waymarkers on the route between Wigan and Chorley. These crosses provide important evidence of the medieval route and serve to remind us of medieval travellers and the importance of religion in medieval life.


The monument includes a cross base set into a hedge bank on the east side of Standish Wood Lane. Formerly this has been reported as having a shaft and tier of steps but neither of these features survive. The cross forms one of a group of four medieval crosses which functioned as waymarkers along the medieval route from Wigan to Chorley. The cross base is carved from a single block of local gritstone measuring 0.9m by 0.65m and stands 0.55m high. A socket hole is cut in the top 0.3m by 0.3m and 0.22m deep. There are grooves cut into the top from the socket hole to the edge of the stone on the east and west sides. There is an OS benchmark cut into the top surface of the block on the south side. The base, which is Listed Grade II, is 1m from the metalled lane surface and 0.4m above the level of the lane. Beside it on the south side a field drain discharges water onto the side of the lane. This has led people to believe that it was a water trough in earlier times.

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.


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Margery, I D, Roman Roads in Britain, (1957), 100-101
Taylor, H, 'Trans. Lancashire and Cheshire Antiques Society' in Trans. Lancashire and Cheshire Antiques Society: Volume 19, (1899), 17
Powell, P J, (1995)


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 Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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