Cross 120m south west of Tollgate Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018306

Date first listed: 12-Nov-1928

Date of most recent amendment: 10-Jun-1998


Ordnance survey map of Cross 120m south west of Tollgate Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Norfolk

District: North Norfolk (District Authority)

Parish: North Walsham

County: Norfolk

District: North Norfolk (District Authority)

Parish: Worstead

National Grid Reference: TG 27839 28287


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 cross 120m south west of Tollgate Farm is a good example of a medieval standing cross. It survives particularly well with a square to octagonal socket stone, a tapering moulded shaft, an elaborate capital and a head which is thought to represent Christ. Situated close to the site of the 1381 battle between Henry le Despencer and the peasants, this cross is believed to stand in or near its original position, and its traditional association with the commemoration of the battle and its association with another standing cross 300m to the south west gives it additional interest. The cross has not been significantly restored and has continued in use as a public monument and amenity from medieval times until the present day.


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


The monument includes a medieval standing stone cross located 120m south west of Tollgate Farm on the parish boundary between North Walsham and Worstead. The cross, which is Listed Grade II, includes the socket stone, the shaft, the capital and the remains of the head. The socket stone is 0.7m square at the base and 0.36m in height, rising through chamfered corners with stop angles to an octagonal section on the surface. The shaft, which is mortised into the socket stone and bonded with mortar, is square in section with rounded corners and decorated with roll moulding. It measures 0.26m square at the base and tapers upwards to a height of about 4m. Resting on top of the shaft is the restored capital. This is quatrefoil in section with horizontal moulding and measures about 0.26m square by 0.35m high. The capital supports the head, which although now very worn, is thought originally to have represented the figure of Christ. The head which faces west, measures about 0.6m in height tapering upwards from about 0.3m wide at the base to 0.1m wide at the top. The full height of the cross is about 5.31m. This cross together with one 300m to the south west (the subject of a separate scheduling) are thought to relate to the battle at which Henry le Despencer, Bishop of Norwich, crushed the 1381 Peasant's Revolt lead by Jack Lytester. It is traditionally believed that one or both crosses were set up after the battle. The kerb and the surface of the road to the south of the cross 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: 31141

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Cozens-Hardy, , 'Norfolk Archaeology' in Norfolk Crosses, , Vol. 25, (1935), 327
FMW report, Corbishley, M J, SAM NF 197b, (1983)
Rose, E, 7568, (1978)

End of official listing