Village cross, 30m south of Cross Hill Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018107

Date first listed: 20-Sep-1956

Date of most recent amendment: 19-Mar-1998


Ordnance survey map of Village cross, 30m south of Cross Hill Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Norfolk

District: King's Lynn and West Norfolk (District Authority)

Parish: Wormegay

National Grid Reference: TF 66400 11815


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 village cross at Wormegay is a good example of a medieval standing cross with a square stepped base, a square to octagonal socket stone and a square to octagonal shaft. Situated on the village green and at a junction where one of the roads leads to the village church it is believed to stand on or near to its original position. The re-erection of the cross using stones, many of medieval origin, collected from around the village and the subsequent restoration of the base in 1868 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 a standing stone cross, located on the village green to the east of the junction between Front Street, Cow Lane and Castle Road. The cross is thought to mark the route to the village church, which is located approximately 1km to the ENE. The cross, which is Listed Grade II, is principally 14th century in date with some later additions. It includes the single stepped base, the socket stone and the lower part of the shaft.

The single stepped base is square in plan and constructed of three courses of stone blocks. It measures 1.86m square by 0.48m high. The socket stone rests on the step, and is made up of two separate stones, one immediately above the other. The bottom stone measures 0.74m square at the base and rises through chamfered corners with weathered stop angles to an octagonal section on the surface. It has a height of 0.5m. The upper stone is mortared to the lower stone and is square in plan with chamfered corners at the top. It measures 0.5m by 0.4m high. The base of the shaft is mortared into the upper part of the socket stone. It is 0.28m square at the base and rises through chamfered corners to an octagonal section. It is broken off at a height of 0.88m. The full height of the cross in its present form is approximately 2.26m.

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: 31122

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Cozens-Hardy, , 'Norfolk Archaeology' in Norfolk Crosses, , Vol. 25, (1935), 331

End of official listing