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High Cross 60m north west of Highcross House

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: High Cross 60m north west of Highcross House

List entry Number: 1018261


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

County: Leicestershire

District: Blaby

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Sharnford

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 16-Jan-1998

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: 30236

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 High Cross represents a good example of a post-medieval wayside cross, itself replacing an earlier monument and known to stand in or near its original position. Limited activity in the area immediately surrounding the cross indicates that archaeological deposits relating to the monument's construction and use in this location are likely to survive intact. The cross has not been significantly restored and has continued in use as a well known public monument and amenity from post-medieval times to the present day.


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


The monument includes the High Cross, a standing wayside cross. The cross, which is Listed Grade II, includes a pedestal base and the stump of a cross shaft, all of which are 18th century in date with later repairs. The pedestal base is of ashlar construction, approximately 1.5m square and 3m in height with pads for shafts at the base of each corner, and includes cornices and square moulded recesses on each side containing panels. The panel to the south contains the weathered remains of an inscription in Latin. On top of the pedestal base stands a second smaller square pedestal, 1m square and 0.8m in height, carrying the remains of a quadruple column with moulded rounded bases. Both the pedestal and the column include modern repairs in brick and stone. The column is a maximum of 0.8m in height. The full height of the cross as it survives is approximately 4.5m. Documentary sources show the cross to have been constructed in 1712 by the Earl of Denbigh on the approximate site of the Roman settlement of Venonae, itself situated alongside an important junction between the Roman roads of Watling Street and the Fosse Way. One of the two Latin inscriptions originally on the cross read in translation `If, traveller, you search for the footsteps of the ancient Romans, here you may behold them; for here their most celebrated ways, crossing each other, extend to the utmost boundaries of Britain. Here the Venones had their quarters and at the distance of one mile from here Claudius, a certain commander of a cohort, seems to have had a camp towards the Street, and towards the Fosse a tomb'. The cross is known to have replaced an earlier wooden monument.

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
Nichols, J, The History and Antiquities of the County of Leicester, (1805)
Leicestershire County Council, 48 NE.AL,
Listing Report: SP 48 NE - 5/47,
RCHME, NMR Long Report: SP 48 NE 10,

National Grid Reference: SP 47252 88683


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This copy shows the entry on 19-Feb-2018 at 06:14:53.

End of official listing