Standing cross on The Green, 130m north west of The Bede House


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019308

Date first listed: 07-Sep-2000


Ordnance survey map of Standing cross on The Green, 130m north west of The Bede House
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Rutland (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Lyddington

National Grid Reference: SP 87503 97103


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 standing cross on Lyddington Green survives as a well-preserved example of a medieval wayside cross which is believed to stand near to its original position. In addition to its primary function as a religious focus, it is believed that it also served as the market cross for the medieval market which was held in the village. The survival of the cross illustrates its continuing importance to all passers-by and residents as a landscape feature. The mound will be expected to preserve evidence for the construction and use of the cross, in addition to structural details such as further steps.


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


The monument includes a standing cross situated on a mound on Lyddington Green, located 130m north west of The Bede House. The standing cross consists of a stone step, a socket stone, and a shaft standing on a low grass covered mound measuring approximately 0.75m high by approximately 6m in diameter. The cross is Listed Grade II. The stone step is level with the surrounding surface level of the mound and measures 1.38sq m. It supports a socket stone which measures 0.8sq m by 0.43m high. The shaft is rectangular and measures 0.37m by 0.26m. It is 0.95m high and is mounted in the socket stone. The shaft is fluted, with traces of decoration on the west and south faces. There is some damage on the east face of the shaft and evidence of repair. A 0.9m by 0.6m slab is located on the mound west of the cross, level with the surface and is believed to be a disturbed step. It is included in the scheduling.

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.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 31974

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing