Wayside cross 150m north east of Ince Blundell Hall


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


Ordnance survey map of Wayside cross 150m north east of Ince Blundell Hall
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. 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.

Sefton (Metropolitan Authority)
Ince Blundell
National Grid Reference:
SD 32834 03058

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 base at Ince Blundell Hall survives well and in its original location beside the course of an old road which has been diverted by the emparkment of the hall grounds. It is one of the few surviving wayside crosses which used to line the roads in this district. The area was a haven for Catholic recusants after the Reformation and such survivals represent the power of such religious thought during the 16th and 17th centuries.


The monument includes a stone cross base for a wayside cross on the side of a former road connecting Ince Lane with Hall Lane within the grounds of Ince Blundell Hall. It was isolated by the emparkment of Ince Blundell Hall in the 18th century. The location of the cross is commemorated by a cross painted on a slab of stone let into the wall of the park 120m to the north. This indicates that the cross base is in its original location. The base is carved from a single piece of sandstone which has been cracked horizontally and repaired with mortar. The base rests on a sandstone plinth which has been constructed at the ground level to support it. The block measures 0.80m by 0.77m and stands 0.53m high. A socket hole in the top of the stone measures 0.37m by 0.35m. Into this socket a whitewashed wooden cross has been inserted in recent years. On the top surface of the base there are traces of three incised crosses cut into the stone but badly worn. There may have been five of these in the original version to symbolise the five wounds of Christ.

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.

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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

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