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Medieval churchyard cross, 6m south east of the porch of St Andrew's Church

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: Medieval churchyard cross, 6m south east of the porch of St Andrew's Church

List entry Number: 1019234

Location

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

County: Devon

District: South Hams

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Harberton

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 18-Jul-2000

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: 33742

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 medieval churchyard cross, 6m south east of the porch of St Andrew's church is fairly complete, although its head is later, the original having been removed during the Reformation, and replaced in the late 19th century by a calvary, a rare feature in England. The particularly finely carved medieval base and shaft are very unusual in an area where plain granite ones are common. The cross is apparently on its original site near the south porch of the church.

History

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

Details

This monument includes a free-standing stone cross situated in the churchyard of St Andrew's Church, 6m south east of the south porch. It is probably in its original position and may date from the 15th century. The cross, which is Listed Grade II, survives with an octagonal stepped base of two tiers, constructed of dressed slate rubble, supporting a plinth, a socket stone, shaft and 19th century calvary. Each tier of the base overhangs and is plain chamfered on its underside. The bottom tier, which is partly buried in turf, is 1.73m across its flat sides and at least 0.33m high. The top tier is 0.75m across and 0.41m high. On top, a carved stone plinth of four pieces, two of which are replacements, measures 0.13m high by 0.9m square. This supports an intricately carved socket stone, 0.74m square and 0.52m high, carved to imitate an octagon with square columns at the corners. The shaft, which is socketed and leaded into the socket stone, tapers from 0.3m to 0.24m square at its surviving height of 1.54m, above which is a lavishly carved calvary in decorated style, probably of the late 19th century. This calvary is about 1.45m high and 0.5m square and is topped with a crocketed spire. It depicts the Adoration, the Crucifixion and two Apostles with long flowing beards. A 3cm to 5cm lean to the north east was corrected when the calvary was added. The stone used for all the carved elements, including the 19th century additions, is a rusty yellow volcanic lava of unknown source. The original cross head was probably removed during the Reformation of the 16th century, by religious iconoclasts. The modern path surface, where it falls within the 2m protective margin of the cross, 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 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Masson Phillips, E, 'Devonshire Association Transactions' in The Ancient Stone Crosses of Devon : Part 1, , Vol. 69, (1936-37), 339

National Grid Reference: SX 77839 58630

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2017. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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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 - 1019234 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 13-Dec-2017 at 06:56:21.

End of official listing