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Dorstone village cross

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: Dorstone village cross

List entry Number: 1017571

Location

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

County:

District: County of Herefordshire

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Dorstone

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 08-Jul-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: 29869

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 Dorstone village cross represent a good example of a medieval standing cross, with a square to octagonal socket stone and a square to octagonal tapering shaft. The cross is believed to stand in or near its original position on the village green. Whilst only the socket stone and shaft are visible further remains of the cross, such as steps, may survive beneath ground level. The cross has not been significantly altered, and the addition of the sundial demonstrates its continued use as a public monument and amenity.

History

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

Details

The monument includes the remains of Dorstone village cross, a standing stone cross located on the village green, approximately 140m to the south west of St Faith's Church. The remains of the cross take the form of a socket stone, shaft and sundial. The cross is Listed Grade II.

The socket stone is square to octagonal in plan and measures 0.76m square. The surface of the stone is level with the surrounding ground. The shaft is set into the top of the socket stone. It is square at the base and rises through chamfered corners to a tapering octagonal section. It is 0.16m square and 2.14m high. The top of the shaft has been cut off diagonally and has been fitted with a circular sundial, which faces the north west. The sundial, dated 1812, measures 0.52m in diameter; it is made out of iron, and has an iron spike, 0.22m long, projecting from the centre. The full height of the cross is approximately 3.9m.

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
Watkins, A, 'Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club' in Herefordshire Wayside and Town Crosses, (1918), 249,253
Other
RCHM, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments of Herefordshire, (1931)

National Grid Reference: SO 31345 41687

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.
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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 - 1017571 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 22-Nov-2017 at 08:26:44.

End of official listing