This browser is not fully supported by Historic England. Please update your browser to the latest version so that you get the best from our website.

Wayside cross on Yarmouth Road 300m south east of Church Farm

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: Wayside cross on Yarmouth Road 300m south east of Church Farm

List entry Number: 1018318


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

County: Norfolk

District: Great Yarmouth

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Hemsby

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 27-Sep-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: 31133

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 wayside cross on Yarmouth Road is a good example of a medieval standing cross with a square to octagonal socket stone and a square shaft. The decorative panels on the four faces of the cross shaft showing the angel, eagle, winged lion and winged ox representing the four Evangelists are of great interest and not known on other crosses in the county. Located to the side of the Yarmouth Road on the outskirts of Hemsby it is believed to stand on or near to its original position. The cross shows no evidence of restoration but has continued in use as a public monument and amenity from medieval times to the present day.


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 east side of the Yarmouth Road to the south of the town of Hemsby and about 50m to the east of the redundant railway line. The cross, which is Listed Grade II, is 14th century in date and includes the socket stone and the lower part of the shaft.

The socket stone is set into a bank; it measures 0.71m square at the base and 0.39m in height, rising through chamfered corners with stop angles to an octagonal section on the surface. The square socket hole cut into the surface of the socket stone measures 0.4m square. The lower part of the shaft, which is mortised into the socket stone, is 0.36m square and is broken off at a height of 0.74m. Each of the four faces of the shaft bears a small recessed panel, 0.19m from the base of the shaft and 0.23m square. The north face portrays an eagle, the east a winged bull, the south an angel and the west a winged lion. They are carved in low relief and each figure is holding a banner or scroll. It is thought that the designs on the four panels represent the four Evangelists, St John, St Luke, St Matthew and St Mark, respectively. The full height of the cross in its present form is 1.13m.

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
Cozens-Hardy, , 'Norfolk Archaeology' in Norfolk Crosses, , Vol. 25, (1935), 313
2/24, Remains of cross shaft, Yarmouth Road, Hemsby,
Newspaper article in SMR file, Green, C, Hemsby's Cross: a relic of Saxon piety, (1963)

National Grid Reference: TG 49727 16693


© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1018318 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 24-Jan-2018 at 09:30:55.

End of official listing