Boundary cross at entrance to Quay Lane


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1015421

Date first listed: 17-Feb-1947

Date of most recent amendment: 27-Aug-1996


Ordnance survey map of Boundary cross at entrance to Quay Lane
© 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: Malvern Hills (District Authority)

Parish: Hanley Castle

National Grid Reference: SO 84143 41971


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

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 at Hanley Castle is a good example of a medieval standing cross with an octagonal socket stone and restored head. It is believed to stand in its original position, and 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. As one of four medieval boundary markers, interest in the monument is further enhanced by documentary references to the group. The cross is clearly visible to pedestrians and motorists alike.


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


The monument includes the remains of a standing stone cross, situated on the verge on the east side of the Upton to Worcester road, at the entrance to Quay Lane. The cross takes the form of a medieval socket stone with a restored shaft and head. The socket stone is of shelly limestone and is octagonal in plan, measuring 0.7m in diameter and 0.2m high. The tapering shaft is octagonal in section, and rises c.2.5m to a decorated top with a small niche in each face. The moulded neck of the shaft supports a separate head, c.0.7m high, which takes the form of a decorated cross under a gable. The modern cross head replaced the original ornamented stone cap after the latter was destroyed in an accident in 1934. The cross is believed to be one of the four mentioned as standing between Upton and the Rhydd c.1847, and was probably a boundary marker. One of the others, which stands to the west of the road some 1.5km to the north, is mentioned as the starting point of the perambulation of the Malvern Chase boundaries during Elizabeth I's reign. It is the subject of a separate scheduling (SM27549).

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: 27538

Legacy System: RSM


FMW, HW271 - AM7,
spec. 25 inch, Gray, E F, (1950)

End of official listing