Churchyard cross in St Michael's churchyard


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016119

Date first listed: 11-Jul-1997


Ordnance survey map of Churchyard cross in St Michael's churchyard
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1016119 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 14-Dec-2018 at 15:52:56.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: County of Herefordshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Garway

National Grid Reference: SO 45512 22463


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 churchyard cross in St Michael's churchyard is a good example of a standing cross, with a square stepped base, and a square to octagonal socket stone. Situated to the south of the church, it is believed to stand in or near its original position. While parts of the cross have survived from medieval times, its subsequent restoration has resulted in its continued function as a public monument and amenity.


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


The monument includes a standing stone cross located approximately 7m to the south of the south chapel of St Michael's Church. The cross, which is Listed Grade II, is of stepped form, and is medieval and later in date. The monument includes the base which incorporates a single step and a socket stone, and the shaft and head which have been carved from a single block of stone.

The single step measures 1.45m square in plan at the base, and is reduced at the top by a rounded bevel to 1.28m square. The step is 0.24m high. The socket stone rests centrally on the step; it is 0.8m square at the base, and rises through chamfered corners to an octagon on the surface. It is 0.4m high. The modern shaft is mortised into the socket stone and bonded with mortar. The remains of lead from the original shaft is also visible. The modern shaft and head are formed from a single block of sandstone, similar to that used in the construction of the church, and together extend to a height of 0.92m. The shaft is rectangular at the base, measuring 0.41m by 0.17m. The short sides of the shaft are reduced by a series of bevels. The shaft then rises through chamfered corners to an octagonal section. The cross head takes the form of a highly decorative closed ring crucifix, which faces east. The east face of the cross depicts the Lamb and Flag. An inscription on the base of the cross shaft states that the cross was restored in memory of the wife of the vicar of Garway, who died in 1897. The full height of the monument is 1.56m.

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: 29863

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Tapper, A, St. Michael's Church, Garway, (1996)

End of official listing