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Standing cross in St Bartholomew's 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: Standing cross in St Bartholomew's churchyard

List entry Number: 1016855

Location

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

County:

District: Cheshire West and Chester

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Barrow

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 24-Sep-1999

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: 30399

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 remains of a standing cross in St Bartholomew's churchyard have been converted into a sundial by the addition of an ornamented stone cap on the broken shaft. The style of the original cross dates from the early 15th century and it is well preserved in its original location on the south side of the church. Its survival gives insights into the activities of Catholic recusants resisting the iconoclasts of the Reformation in Cheshire.

History

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

Details

The monument includes the base and part of the shaft of a medieval cross in the churchyard of St Bartholomew's Church, south of the south porch. The cross is Listed Grade II. The base of the cross is constructed of local buff sandstone and is in two steps. The first step is square, of large ashlar blocks, and measures 1.4m wide and 0.2m above the turf. The second step is a single massive block, 0.83m wide and 0.2m high with a socket 0.45m wide. Set into this is a slightly tapered shaft, cut off at 0.95m. The shaft is square at the base rising through dart-shaped corners to octagonal. This has been capped by a coved block 0.15m high and made of a finer stone of different colour. Set into the top there used to be a sundial plate dated 1705, now missing. The flagged path and its kerb stones on the eastern side of the cross, where it falls with the cross's protective margin, is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath is included.

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

Other
Cheshire SMR, (1984)

National Grid Reference: SJ 46950 68323

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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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 - 1016855 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 17-Nov-2017 at 11:22:46.

End of official listing