Medieval cross reused as a signpost at the top of Caper Hill on the north east side of Glaisdale High Moor


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018739

Date first listed: 23-Jun-1975

Date of most recent amendment: 02-Dec-1998


Ordnance survey map of Medieval cross reused as a signpost at the top of Caper Hill on the north east side of Glaisdale High Moor
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: North Yorkshire

District: Scarborough (District Authority)

Parish: Glaisdale


National Grid Reference: NZ 73174 02205


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 cross shaft is an important example of the continuity of secular use of medieval wayside crosses as signposts into the post-medieval period.


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


The monument includes the remains of a medieval wayside cross which was reused in the 18th century as an inscribed signpost. It is located 10m south west of the road junction of Caper Hill and the road on the north east side of Glaisdale High Moor. The cross survives without its cross head as a 95cm tall shaft, 26cm square, set into a monolithic and roughly dressed socket stone 48cm square and at least 15cm thick. The cross is orientated to the adjacent roads and its shaft is inscribed on all four sides: WHITBY ROAD; PEATHILL ROAD; and KIRBY ROAD are inscribed in two lines on the south east, south west and north west faces respectively. The remaining side, which faces the road junction, is inscribed over five lines with GLASDA LE.ROAD THOMAS HARWOOD D:1735. In 1711 the justice at Northallerton ordered that signposts should be erected throughout the North Riding at cross roads. Thomas Harwood was the surveyor in Glaisdale in the early 18th century, and the reused medieval cross is one of a small number of inscribed stones in the parish bearing his name.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 5 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: 30160

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Hayes, R H, Old Roads and Pannierways in North East Yorkshire, (1988), 69

End of official listing