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Wayside cross at Stoughton Cross

List Entry Summary

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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Wayside cross at Stoughton Cross

List entry Number: 1015451


The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Somerset

District: Sedgemoor

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Wedmore

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 21-Jun-1946

Date of most recent amendment: 18-Nov-1996

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 28816

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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 wayside cross at Stoughton Cross survives well, and, with the exception of the cross head, with all of its original elements intact. Although moved a short distance, the cross still marks the crossroads as intended by its construction in the 15th century. Thus its presence marks the significance which this crossroads had in the medieval period. Close by the cross is a well which is claimed to be a holy well.


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


The monument includes a cross situated on a roadside verge at a crossroads at Stoughton Cross. The cross lies in a small coppice surrounded by a hedge. The cross, which is Listed Grade II*, has a base, a three step calvary, a socket stone, and a shaft. The base is composed of two courses of stone blocks, and is 2.7m square and 0.3m high. The first step of the calvary is 2.6m wide and 0.2m high; the second step is 1.9m wide and 0.3m high; the third step is 1.35m wide and 0.25m high. Above this is the square socket stone, each side of which is 0.8m long. The socket stone is 0.5m high with broaches at its top corners producing an octagonal top. The square socket at its centre measures 0.35m across. The c.1.9m high shaft, square at the bottom, tapers to a tenon and becomes octagonal in section. The cross is believed to be 15th century. The cross apparently once stood at the intersection of the crossroads c.15m to the south of its present position. In the 19th century the vicar of Wedmore revived the custom of preaching from this cross. The abacus cross head depicted in a mid-19th century drawing has disappeared. To the west of the cross, c.6.1m away, is a well. This is not referenced in any sources, but it might have been a holy well. This is not included in the scheduling.

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.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Pooley, C, Old Stone Crosses of Somerset, (1877), 111-112

National Grid Reference: ST 42478 49659


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This copy shows the entry on 20-Feb-2018 at 07:58:58.

End of official listing