Malo Cross, 450m south east of Nab Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1021168

Date first listed: 22-Dec-2003


Ordnance survey map of Malo Cross, 450m south east of Nab Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: North Yorkshire

District: Ryedale (District Authority)

Parish: Allerston

County: North Yorkshire

District: Ryedale (District Authority)

Parish: Lockton


National Grid Reference: SE 86679 94935


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.

Although it was broken in the past and is now repaired, Malo Cross 450m south east of Nab Farm, is in a very good condition. It survives in its original position and the surrounding area will retain archeological deposits which will provide information about its construction. It is a rare and well-documented example of an early 17th century cross, erected after the main pre-Reformation period of medieval cross construction. As such it provides insight into religious belief and practice during the reign of James I and is an indicator of the local survival of `High Church' beliefs at a time when crosses were being actively destroyed in areas of strong Puritan belief.


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


The monument includes Malo Cross which is situated at the foot of the northern scarp edge of the Tabular Hills. It lies on Upper Jurassic sandstone and mudstone at the foot of the eastern flank of Whinney Nab. Malo Cross is listed Grade II.

The cross has a shaft and cross head, constructed from a single piece of sandstone, which stands 1.9m high. The arms of the cross are 0.25m long and 0.3m wide and have rounded ends. The east face of the cross is inscribed with the initials `K', `R' and `E' at the head and on the south and north arms respectively. Between the initials in the centre of the cross, there is a sign resembling a letter `I' crossed at the top and bottom with curved rather than straight lines. These are the initials of Sir Richard Egerton, who erected the cross in 1619 as a marker on the boundary of his manor in the parish of Allerston; the cross marks the boundary between the parishes of Allerston and Lockton today. The cross shaft measures 0.5m north to south by 0.3m and tapers slightly towards the top. Half way up the east face of the shaft there is an Ordnance Survey bench mark. During the second half of the 19th century the cross was removed, but was restored in 1924; the cross head had been broken from the shaft and the repair is now visible as a line of cement about 1.3m above the base of the shaft.

Malo Cross is situated to the west of an old road which branches south from the Old Salt Road between Saltergate and Robin Hood's Bay; the line of this road is visible as a hollow way running to the east of the monument. A more recent track used as a public bridleway passes to the immediate west of the cross.

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: 35460

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Hayes, R H, Old Roads and Pannierways in North East Yorkshire, (1988), 32
Ogilvie, E, Sleightholme, A, An Illustrated Guide to the Crosses on the North York Moors, (1994)

End of official listing