Wayside cross 190m south west of Crossgates Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018298

Date first listed: 12-Apr-1926

Date of most recent amendment: 03-Apr-2000


Ordnance survey map of Wayside cross 190m south west of Crossgates 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: Pentney

National Grid Reference: TF 71686 13375


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.

The wayside cross 190m south west of Crossgates Farm is a good example of a medieval cross with a cruciform base, a square to octagonal socket stone and a tapering shaft. Situated 16m to the south of the road which leads from the village church of St Mary Magdalene to Pentney Priory it is believed to stand in or near to its original position. Most of the cross has survived from medieval times and subsequent restoration has resulted in its continual function as a public monument and amenity. The form of the cross is unusual and this gives additional interest.


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


The monument includes a stone cross located 600m south west of St Mary Magdalene's Church and some 2km north east of Pentney Priory. It stands 16m south of the road which runs between the church and the priory. The cross, which is Listed Grade II, is 14th century in date with some later additions. It includes the foundation, the cruciform base with the exposed flint core, the square stone platform, the socket stone and the shaft.

The cross is a highly elaborate structure. The foundation was examined in part during restoration work and is thought to be roughly circular in plan. It is constructed of flint and mortar rubble and lies approximately 0.2m below the present ground surface. The cruciform base has an overall width of 1.8m and comprises four buttresses constructed of mortared flint with steeply sloping upper surfaces capped with limestone blocks. It is thought that the ends of the buttresses were also faced with stone down to the ground level, but much of this stone has since been removed. A square platform, made up of three courses of stone, is set diagonally onto the buttresses with four trefoil headed arches cut into the angles between the buttresses. The top course of stones is chamfered and supports the socket stone. The full height of the base and platform is 1.95m. The socket stone is square to octagonal with ball- shaped ornaments on the top four corners and beading around the upper surface. It measures 0.4m square by 0.5m deep. The shaft is mortised into the socket stone and bonded with lead. It measures 0.35m square at the base and approximately 2.5m in height rising through chamfered corners to a tapering octagonal section. The full height of the cross in its present form is approximately 4.95m.

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: 31128

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Cozens-Hardy, , 'Norfolk Archaeology' in Norfolk Crosses, , Vol. 25, (1935), 323
Heywood, S, Pentney Cross, 1994, paper in SMR file

End of official listing