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Outer Golden Pot medieval wayside cross

A Scheduled Monument in Alwinton, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.3587 / 55°21'31"N

Longitude: -2.31 / 2°18'36"W

OS Eastings: 380441.61

OS Northings: 607233.605

OS Grid: NT804072

Mapcode National: GBR D69G.PV

Mapcode Global: WH8Z6.HK6S

Entry Name: Outer Golden Pot medieval wayside cross

Scheduled Date: 12 April 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008282

English Heritage Legacy ID: 25024

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Alwinton

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Horsley with Byrness

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The base of a medieval cross, one of three in this area, is situated in an
elevated position on the western edge of Dere Street, the Roman road between
Corbridge and Newstead in Scotland. Once thought to be the remains of Roman
milestones associated with Dere Street, they are wayside crosses of 14th
century date associated with the continued use of Dere Street in the medieval
period. The socket stone is all that now survives; it is rectangular in shape
and measures 0.8m by 0.9m; it is embedded in the ground but projects 0.2m
above ground level. There is a socket hole off centre which measures 40cm by
30cm and is 10cm deep. The Outer Golden Pot is represented on Armstrong's map
of 1769 by a symbol thought to represent a cross socket and a stump of shaft.
The monument is also Listed Grade II.
The surrounding fenced enclosure and the metal star situated beside the cross
are excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath them is included.

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.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Wayside crosses are one of several types of Christian cross erected during the
medieval period, mostly from the 9th to 15th centuries AD. In addition to
serving the function of reiterating and reinforcing the Christian faith
amongst those who passed the cross and of reassuring the traveller, wayside
crosses often fulfilled a role as waymarkers, especially in difficult and
otherwise unmarked terrain. The crosses might be on regularly used routes
linking ordinary settlements or on routes having a more specifically religious
function, including those providing access to religious sites for parishioners
and funeral processions, or marking long-distance routes frequented on
Over 350 wayside crosses are known nationally, concentrated in south-west
England throughout Cornwall and on Dartmoor where they form the commonest type
of stone cross. A small group also occurs on the North York Moors. Relatively
few examples have been recorded elsewhere and these are generally confined to
remote moorland locations.
Outside Cornwall almost all wayside crosses take the form of a 'latin' cross,
in which the cross-head itself is shaped with the projecting arms of an
unenclosed cross. In Cornwall wayside crosses vary considerably in form and
decoration. The commonest type includes a round, or 'wheel', head on the faces
of which various forms of cross or related designs were carved in relief or
incised, the spaces between the cross arms possibly pierced. The design was
sometimes supplemented with a relief figure of Christ and the shaft might bear
decorative panels and motifs. Less common forms in Cornwall include the
'Latin' cross and, much rarer, the simple slab with a low relief cross on both
faces. Rare examples of wheel-head and slab-form crosses also occur within the
North York Moors group. Most wayside crosses have either a simple socketed
base or show no evidence for a separate base at all.
Wayside crosses contribute significantly to our understanding of medieval
religious customs and sculptural traditions and to our knowledge of medieval
routeways and settlement patterns. All wayside crosses which survive as earth-
fast monuments, except those which are extremely damaged and removed from
their original locations, are considered worthy of protection.

The base of the Outer Golden Pot medieval cross survives well and remains in
its original position alongside a medieval routeway. The importance of the
monument is enhanced by the survival of at least two further crosses thought
to lie along the same medieval route.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Roy, W, Military Antiquities of the Romans in North Britain, (1793), 109
Honeyman, H L, 'Archaeologia Aeliana 4 ser 4' in The Golden Pots, (1927), 90-103
NT 80 NW 06,
Title: Map of Northumberland
Source Date: 1769

Source: Historic England

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