Elmley Castle village cross


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1015287

Date first listed: 18-May-1951

Date of most recent amendment: 24-Dec-1996


Ordnance survey map of Elmley Castle village cross
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. 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.

County: Worcestershire

District: Wychavon (District Authority)

Parish: Elmley Castle

National Grid Reference: SO 98314 41415


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.

The cross at Elmley Castle is a good example of a medieval standing cross with a square socket stone and tapering shaft. Limited development in the area immediately surrounding the cross suggests that archaeological deposits relating to the monument's construction and use in this location are likely to survive intact. While most of the cross has survived since medieval times, the 17th century restoration of the head and the embellishment of the shaft display its continued function as a public monument and amenity.


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


The monument includes a standing stone cross, situated at the junction of Netherton Lane and the Ashton to Pershore road, in the centre of Elmley Castle village. The cross, which is constructed of shelly limestone, takes the form of a medieval socket stone and shaft, with a 17th century head and sundial. It is Listed Grade II. The socket stone is square in plan and measures 0.74m at the base. It is c.0.44m high and has chamfered edges giving a diameter at the top of 0.63m. The shaft rises from a low octagonal plinth, but is itself rectangular in plan, with sides of 0.32m x 0.16m. It tapers slightly to a height of c.1.9m, and its broad sides face north and south. Both socket stone and shaft are probably of 14th century date. The south face of the shaft is engraved down the east side with rounded Roman numerals, which were probably added in the 17th century when the existing head was added to the shaft. The head takes the form of a single limestone block, c.0.45m high, which has two moulded cornices and a rounded knob on its top, the remains of the sundial with which it was provided. The paving slabs to the south of 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: 29369

Legacy System: RSM


Ancient monument description, Elmley Castle village cross,
DOE, Listed building description, Elmley Castle village cross, (1965)
HWCM 05573,

End of official listing