Wayside cross at the junction of Boundary Road and Drayton High Road


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018303

Date first listed: 10-Sep-1962

Date of most recent amendment: 24-Jul-1998


Ordnance survey map of Wayside cross at the junction of Boundary Road and Drayton High Road
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Norfolk

District: Broadland (District Authority)

Parish: Hellesdon

National Grid Reference: TG 20725 11047


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 wayside cross at the junction of Boundary Road and Drayton High Road is a good example of a medieval standing cross with a square to octagonal socket stone and a square to octagonal shaft. Situated to the north of the parish boundary separating Hellesdon from Norwich and less than 800m to the north east of the parish church of St Mary's where another cross, which is the subject of a separate scheduling, stands in the churchyard, 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 continued function as a public monument and amenity.


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


The monument includes a standing stone cross located at the junction of Drayton High Road and Boundary Road, close to the boundary which separates the Hellesdon parish from the City of Norwich. The cross dates principally to the medieval period with some later additions. It includes the base plinth, the socket stone, the shaft, the capital and the iron head. The socket stone is set on a plinth, which is constructed of dressed flint with ashlar corner stones. It measures 0.68m square by 0.49m high. The socket stone is also 0.68m square and 0.4m in height, rising through chamfered corners with stop angles to an octagonal section on the surface. Attached to the south face of the socket stone is a circular bronze plaque inscribed with the words: `This boundary cross was erected in the 15th century to mark the spot at which the King's Way crossed the Norwich City Boundary'. The shaft, which is mortised into the socket stone, measures 0.3m square at the base and rises through chamfered corners to a tapering octagonal section. The lower part of the shaft, 1.44m in height is original. The upper part, which extends for a further 0.68m, and the capital above it are modern additions and are constructed from a single block of stone. The capital is 0.4m high and supports the modern iron head which measures about 0.5m high and 0.2m wide and faces east and west. The full height of the cross in its present form is approximately 4m. The pavement, where it falls within the monument's protective margin, is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath it 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: 31138

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Cozens-Hardy, , 'Norfolk Archaeology' in Norfolk Crosses, , Vol. 25, (1935), 321-322

End of official listing