Crosshill Stone at Grains o' th' Beck

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017014

Date first listed: 24-Sep-1999

Map

Ordnance survey map of Crosshill Stone at Grains o' th' Beck
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Location

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

District: County Durham (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Lunedale

National Grid Reference: NY 86760 20740

Summary

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

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.

Crosshill Stone is one of only three wayside crosses in County Durham known to survive in its original position. It is the only example of an oval socket stone within the county. The surrounding area is undisturbed and will preserve sub-surface archaeological deposits.

History

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

Details

The monument includes the wayside cross known as the Crosshill Stone, which is situated on a ridge 60m south of the farm buildings at Grains o' th' Beck and beside the crossing of Arngill Beck on the Bowes to Middleton-in-Teesdale road. The monument includes a socket stone and shaft. The socket stone is oval; its long axis (north-south) measures 0.9m, its short axis 0.7m and it is 0.25m high. It contains a centrally located, roughly squared socket measuring 0.3m (north-south) by 0.2m. The shaft is 1.15m high, 0.4m wide and 0.1m deep. The bottom 0.25m of the shaft has been roughly shaped in order to insert it into the socket and it has been wedged into position using a small stone. The sides of the shaft have roll mouldings 5cm wide. The top of the shaft tapers above 0.95m. The cross, which is Listed Grade II, is on the route between Brough and Middleton-in-Teesdale. It is the only known survivor of the wayside crosses marked for this route on John Speed's map of 1610. The other sites were Laithkirk, Kelton and Stackholm.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: 32060

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Bell, W R , 'Laithkirk Parish Magazine' in Wayside Crosses, (1869)

End of official listing