Ancient Monuments

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Wayside cross known as Whibbersley Cross

A Scheduled Monument in Baslow and Bubnell, Derbyshire

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Latitude: 53.2509 / 53°15'3"N

Longitude: -1.5581 / 1°33'29"W

OS Eastings: 429581.183124

OS Northings: 372744.797986

OS Grid: SK295727

Mapcode National: GBR KZKV.GC

Mapcode Global: WHCD3.1KB4

Entry Name: Wayside cross known as Whibbersley Cross

Scheduled Date: 12 January 1961

Last Amended: 30 March 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008611

English Heritage Legacy ID: 23337

County: Derbyshire

Civil Parish: Baslow and Bubnell

Traditional County: Derbyshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Derbyshire

Church of England Parish: Baslow St Anne

Church of England Diocese: Derby


The monument is situated on Leash Fen in the East Moors of the Derbyshire Peak
District and is the medieval wayside cross known as Whibbersley Cross. It
comprises a roughly chiselled gritstone shaft of rectangular section set into
a rectangular socle or cross-base measuring 15cm high by 69cm north-south by
54cm east-west. The shaft measures 103cm high by 24cm north-south by 21cm
east-west and includes an integral lozenge-shaped cross head which has the
faint impression of a carved equal-armed cross on its east face. The cross is
reputed originally to have stood some way south of its present location, next
to the ancient route across Leash Fen which was superceded by the present
turnpike road. It may also have served as a boundary cross marking the estate
of Beauchief Abbey.

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.

Whibbersley Cross is a well-preserved example of a simple wayside cross set
near to its original location on a path across open moorland. It is an unusual
example in that it includes an integral shaft and cross head. It also lies
outside the two main areas of distribution for wayside crosses.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Heathcote, J P, 'Derbyshire Archaeological Journal' in , , Vol. 81, (1961), 136
Tudor, T L, 'Derbyshire Archaeological Journal' in , , Vol. 55, (1934), 67
Ward, G H B, 'Transactions of the Hunter Archaeological Society' in Transactions of the Hunter Archaeological Society, , Vol. 2, (1920), 140

Source: Historic England

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