Churchyard cross 20m south of St Peter and St Paul's Church


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1020023

Date first listed: 20-Jul-2001


Ordnance survey map of Churchyard cross 20m south of St Peter and St Paul's Church
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: North East Lincolnshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Stallingborough

National Grid Reference: TA 19495 11819


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.

St Peter and St Paul's churchyard cross is a good example of a simple medieval cross. The addition of an early 18th century sundial adds to its interest, as does the nearby survival of earthwork remains of the associated medieval settlement.


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


The monument includes a medieval churchyard cross and associated buried remains in the churchyard of St Peter and St Paul's Church, Stallingborough. This cross is Listed Grade II. The area around the churchyard, retaining earthworks of the medieval settlement, is the subject of a separate scheduling. Although a church at Stallingborough was mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1087, the current building dates to 1779-1781 and was a replacement for the earlier church whose nave and tower collapsed in 1746. The cross is sited nearly 20m south of the west end of the church, in line with the earthworks of a hollow way which approaches the churchyard from the south west. The cross base is a simple square socket stone, 0.7 sq m, its surface nearly flush with the surrounding ground surface. Neatly fitted into this, using lead filling, is the cross shaft, 0.3 sq m. This shaft, which leans slightly to the south, is shaped with chamfered corners with lower broach stops. The shaft has been truncated at a height of 1.2m, just above a raised inscribed plaque on the south face. The inscription on this plaque is no longer legible, and was not even readable in 1915 when a description of the cross was published in by Canon D S Davies. Fixed to the top of the truncated shaft is a finely finished inscribed sundial, 0.4m in diameter, that is dated 1725. The sundial is no longer functional as all that remains of the iron upright which cast the shadow on the dial, is a corroded stump. The scheduling also includes a margin around the cross base designed to protect any associated buried features such as supporting steps, foundations and buried deposits.

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: 34706

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Davies, D S, 'Lincolnshire Notes & Queries' in Ancient Stone Crosses in Lindsey and Holland Divisions of Lincs, , Vol. XIII no7, (1915), 215

End of official listing