This browser is not fully supported by Historic England. Please update your browser to the latest version so that you get the best from our website.

Churchyard cross in Holy Rood churchyard

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: Churchyard cross in Holy Rood churchyard

List entry Number: 1016125

Location

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

County:

District: County of Herefordshire

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Mordiford

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 24-Sep-1997

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 29846

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

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 Holy Rood churchyard is a good example of a medieval standing cross with an octagonal stepped base and a square to octagonal socket stone and shaft. Situated a short distance from the south entrance to the church it is believed to stand in or near to its original position. While most of the cross has survived from medieval times, subsequent restoration has resulted in its continued function as a public monument and amenity.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a standing stone cross located in the churchyard of Holy Rood Church, approximately 7m to the south of the chancel and 15m from the south entrance to the church. The cross is of stepped form, and is principally medieval in date with some later additions. The monument includes the base of three steps and a socket stone, the shaft, the knop and the head. The steps are octagonal in plan and are constructed of large sandstone blocks. The bottom step is approximately 2.48m in diameter, and rises 9mm above ground level. The middle and top steps are 1.88m and 1.40m in diameter and both 0.26m high. The socket stone rests on the uppermost step and is square to octagonal in plan. It measures 0.82m in diameter and 0.68m high. An elaborate niche has been cut into the western face of the socket stone. The niche has a pointed head and is framed by a low relief carving depicting a pointed gable above with eaves and a cylindrical ridge. It is thought to have been carved to hold the Pyx or Holy Water when Mass was celebrated at the cross, or to hold a statue or icon. The shaft is mortised into the top of the socket stone and bonded with lead. It is 0.27m square in section at the base rising through chamfered corners to a tapering octagonal section, and has a height of approximately 4m. An octagonal knop joins the shaft to the head, which is represented by a simple, open armed crucifix, and is thought to be the only modern addition to the cross. The full height of the cross is approximately 6m. The cross is Listed Grade II*.

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
Hopton, M, The Crosses of Herefordshire, (1901)
Marples, B, 'Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists Field Club' in The Niche in Medieval Churchyard Crosses, , Vol. 40, (1972), 321-332
Other
RCHM, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments of Herefordshire, (1932)

National Grid Reference: SO 57058 37439

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2017. 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 - 1016125 .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 19-Nov-2017 at 02:57:44.

End of official listing