Market cross 10m west of Cross Farmhouse


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017622

Date first listed: 19-Mar-1998


Ordnance survey map of Market cross 10m west of Cross Farmhouse
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Northamptonshire

District: East Northamptonshire (District Authority)

Parish: Harringworth

National Grid Reference: SP 91726 97317


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 the market cross at Harringworth represent a good example of a medieval standing cross with a stepped base and clustered column shaft located in or near its original position. Limited activity in the area surrounding the cross indicates that archaeological deposits relating to the monument's construction and use in this location will survive as buried features. Whilst most of the cross has survived from medieval times, its subsequent restoration illustrates the continued function of the cross as a public monument and amenity.


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


The monument includes the remains of the market cross located approximately 10m west of Cross Farmhouse, at the junction of Deene Road with Waresley Road and Gretton Road in the village of Harringworth. The cross, which is Listed Grade I, is thought to be in or near its original position. It is believed to belong to the medieval period, with the architectural style suggesting a 14th century date. The cross base stands to a height of approximately 0.8m. It is of mortared block construction and includes a flight of five steps decreasing in size from 3.42m square to 1.6m square. The top step is iron cramped. Supported on the cross base is a socket stone measuring approximately 0.4m square by 1.1m high. The upper corners are chamfered to form an octagon. The shaft is comprised of eight clustered columns of alternating girths in a square arrangement approximately 0.3m across. The original cross head does not survive and was replaced by a moulded capital with square abacus (platform) and reticulated head when the cross was restored in 1837. The full height of the cross is approximately 4.5m. All modern made surfaces are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them 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.


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

Legacy System number: 29718

Legacy System: RSM


NMR monument details, SP 99 NW 7/347653, (1970)

End of official listing