Edmundbyers Cross, Muggleswick Common, 1460m west of Heather Lea

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017309

Date first listed: 24-Sep-1999

Map

Ordnance survey map of Edmundbyers Cross, Muggleswick Common, 1460m west of Heather Lea
© 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.
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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: Muggleswick

National Grid Reference: NZ 00402 44761

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.

Although greatly weathered, Edmundbyers Cross is one of only three wayside crosses still in its original position in County Durham and the only known example on the route between Stanhope and Edmundbyers. Information on its setting and use will be preserved beneath the present ground surface.

History

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

Details

The monument includes the medieval wayside cross known as Edmundbyers Cross, which is situated 64m north of the junction of the Stanhope to Edmundbyers road with a minor road to Waskerley. The monument includes a sandstone socket stone which is 0.7m wide on its north and south faces, 0.6m on its east face, 0.8m on its west face and 0.3m high. The socket is 0.2m square and 0.15m deep. The surface of the metalled road where it impinges on the monument's protective margin 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. 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: 32065

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing