Village cross 80m east of St Barbara's Church


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1015967

Date first listed: 07-Feb-1997


Ordnance survey map of Village cross 80m east of St Barbara's Church
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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: Ashton under Hill

National Grid Reference: SO 99747 37694

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 80m east of St Barbara's Church is a good example of a medieval wayside cross with a stepped base. 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. While the greater part of the cross has survived from medieval times, its subsequent use as a sundial illustrates its continued function as a public monument and amenity.


The monument includes a standing stone cross, situated in front of the lych gate to the east of the church at Ashton under Hill. The cross, which is medieval in date, takes the form of a stepped base, socket-stone and shaft, surmounted by a post-medieval sundial. The cross is Listed Grade II. The cross base is formed of three steps and is square in plan, 0.9m high and with a width at the base of 3m. The socket stone is also square in plan with sides of 0.87m, and is 0.85m high with edges chamfered over stops. The shaft has a width of 0.3m at its square base, and its angles are chamfered from stops at the base to an octagonal plan. The shaft tapers slightly to a height of c.2m, and has a shield on its east face. The monument dates to the 14th or 15th century. The sundial which has replaced the cross head is formed of a single sandstone block, which is triangular in plan and has gnomons on its two shorter faces. The paved surface to the west of the cross is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath it 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: 29366

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing