Mowbray Cross, Green Hill, Church Street


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1015315

Date first listed: 14-Mar-1997


Ordnance survey map of Mowbray Cross, Green Hill, Church Street
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: North Lincolnshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Haxey

National Grid Reference: SK 76797 99896

Reasons for Designation

A standing cross is a free standing upright structure, usually of stone, mostly erected during the medieval period (mid 10th to mid 16th centuries AD). Standing crosses served a variety of functions. In churchyards they served as stations for outdoor processions, particularly in the observance of Palm Sunday. Elsewhere, standing crosses were used within settlements as places for preaching, public proclamation and penance, as well as defining rights of sanctuary. Standing crosses were also employed to mark boundaries between parishes, property, or settlements. A few crosses were erected to commemorate battles. Some crosses were linked to particular saints, whose support and protection their presence would have helped to invoke. Crosses in market places may have helped to validate transactions. After the Reformation, some crosses continued in use as foci for municipal or borough ceremonies, for example as places for official proclamations and announcements; some were the scenes of games or recreational activity. Standing crosses were distributed throughout England and are thought to have numbered in excess of 12,000. However, their survival since the Reformation has been variable, being much affected by local conditions, attitudes and religious sentiment. In particular, many cross-heads were destroyed by iconoclasts during the 16th and 17th centuries. Less than 2,000 medieval standing crosses, with or without cross-heads, are now thought to exist. The oldest and most basic form of standing cross is the monolith, a stone shaft often set directly in the ground without a base. The most common form is the stepped cross, in which the shaft is set in a socket stone and raised upon a flight of steps; this type of cross remained current from the 11th to 12th centuries until after the Reformation. Where the cross-head survives it may take a variety of forms, from a lantern-like structure to a crucifix; the more elaborate examples date from the 15th century. Much less common than stepped crosses are spire-shaped crosses, often composed of three or four receding stages with elaborate architectural decoration and/or sculptured figures; the most famous of these include the Eleanor crosses, erected by Edward I at the stopping places of the funeral cortege of his wife, who died in 1290. Also uncommon are the preaching crosses which were built in public places from the 13th century, typically in the cemeteries of religious communities and cathedrals, market places and wide thoroughfares; they include a stepped base, buttresses supporting a vaulted canopy, in turn carrying either a shaft and head or a pinnacled spire. Standing crosses contribute significantly to our understanding of medieval customs, both secular and religious, and to our knowledge of medieval parishes and settlement patterns. All crosses which survive as standing monuments, especially those which stand in or near their original location, are considered worthy of protection.

The cross is thought to be in its original position, and is believed to be on the site of the village stocks. Although the head of the cross is modern, the remainder is of medieval date and has base relief carvings relating it to the medieval Lords of the Manor of Haxey - the Mowbrays. The cross is considered to be a good example of its kind, which survives in good condition.


The monument includes the remains of Mowbray Cross, a medieval standing cross restored in the 19th century, situated on Haxey village green. The base of the cross takes the form of a socket stone 0.8m square in section with moulded corners rising to a top of octagonal section. The socket stone is partly buried and now stands approximately 0.25m above ground level. The shaft of the cross, which was restored in the 19th century, measures 0.25m square in section at the base with champfered corners rising in octagonal section to a height of 2.5m. A mid panel on its east side bears painted relief carvings of a shield with the Mowbray Arms: a lion rampant. The Mowbrays were the medieval lords of Haxey Manor. The shaft terminates in a 19th century cap. The overall height of the cross is approximately 2.75m. The cross is Listed Grade II. Modern paved surfaces to pavements and roads are excluded from the scheduling, 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: 26615

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Stonehouse, W B , The History and Topography of the Isle of Axholme, (1839), 316
Humberside SMR, Sites and Monuments Record Sheet, (1996)

End of official listing