Langley Cross 360m north of Park Farm


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


Ordnance survey map of Langley Cross 360m north of Park Farm
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. 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 - 1020060 .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 22-Sep-2019 at 02:30:34.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

South Norfolk (District Authority)
Carleton St. Peter
South Norfolk (District Authority)
South Norfolk (District Authority)
Langley with Hardley
South Norfolk (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
TG 34762 00633

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.

Langley Cross is a well-preserved example of this class of monument, with a socket stone, shaft and capital which survive largely intact and with much original architectural and sculptural detail. It also has importance as the only surviving medieval standing cross in Norfolk which includes a shaft ornamented with carved figures. Although it no longer stands in its original location, it retains its significance as a public monument, marking the junction of the boundaries of four parishes, and the original association with Langley Abbey gives it additional interest.


The monument includes a medieval standing cross located approximately 87m west of Langley School (formerly Langley Hall) at the junction of the parish boundaries of Langley with Hardley, Carleton St Peter, Thurton and Chedgrave. The cross formerly stood approximately 2.6km to the north east, adjacent to the ruins of Langley Abbey where it is shown on a map published in 1797, and it is said to have been moved to the present site around 1801 by Sir Thomas Beauchamp Proctor.

The medieval cross, which is dated to the 15th century, and Listed Grade II, stands on a 19th century pedestal and plinth, raised on a low earthen mound about 0.4m in height above the level of the adjacent fields. The plinth is of brick and circular, three courses in height and approximately 1.78m in diameter. It rests on a rectangular base which is two courses in height above the ground surface and measures 1.78m NNE-SSW by approximately 1.9m. The pedestal which stands on the plinth is 1.65m in height overall, hexagonal and is built of limestone, much of it reused blocks and architectural fragments probably obtained from the ruined medieval abbey. The top part, above a chamfered moulding, is inscribed with the names of the four parishes. The cross above this comprises a socket stone, shaft and capital, also of limestone. The socket stone is rectangular, with rounded stop-angles, and the slender, tapering shaft, which is also rectangular, is set into it diagonally. Each of the four faces of the shaft is carved in relief, with a recessed panel containing a figure standing on a tall shaft pedestal beneath a crocketed canopy. The figures are identified as representing the four evangelists, and the shaft terminates in a capital or knop carved with the corresponding symbols of angel, lion, ox and eagle. Set into the upper surface of the capital is an iron rod which presumably originally supported a cross head.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Cozens-Hardy, , 'Norfolk Archaeology' in Norfolk Crosses, , Vol. 25, (1935), 317
Title: A Topographical Map of the County of Norfolk Source Date: 1797 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:


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 Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

Your Contributions

Do you know more about this entry?

The following information has been contributed by users volunteering for our Enriching The List project. For small corrections to the List Entry please see our Minor Amendments procedure.

The information and images below are the opinion of the contributor, are not part of the official entry and do not represent the official position of Historic England. We have not checked that the contributions below are factually accurate. Please see our terms and conditions. If you wish to report an issue with a contribution or have a question please email [email protected].