Wayside cross on High Street, 140m south west of St Mary's Church
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- Shropshire (Unitary Authority)
- Cleobury Mortimer
- National Grid Reference:
- SO 67272 75724
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
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 wayside cross at Cleobury Mortimer is an interesting example of a wayside cross with an octagonal socket stone. Buried archaeological deposits relating to its construction and use in this location are likely to survive intact. The cross has continued in use as a public monument and amenity from medieval times to the present day.
The monument includes a wayside cross situated on the High Street pavement
against the north side of the A4177, in the centre of Cleobury Mortimer. The
cross, which is medieval in date, takes the form of a socket stone and shaft.
It is Listed Grade II.
The socket stone is roughly octagonal in plan and has a diameter of c.1.2m. It
is c.0.4m high and very weathered. Some 0.6m of the shaft remains, being
square at the base and c.0.25m in width.
The metalled road and pavement surfaces surrounding the cross are excluded
from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them 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.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
- Legacy System number:
- Legacy System:
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