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Latitude: 53.0715 / 53°4'17"N
Longitude: -1.6907 / 1°41'26"W
OS Eastings: 420820.236206
OS Northings: 352745.693183
OS Grid: SK208527
Mapcode National: GBR 485.KC7
Mapcode Global: WHCF0.0253
Entry Name: Standing cross in the churchyard of All Saints' Church
Scheduled Date: 2 July 1994
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1008824
English Heritage Legacy ID: 23353
Civil Parish: Bradbourne
Traditional County: Derbyshire
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Derbyshire
Church of England Parish: Bradbourne All Saints
Church of England Diocese: Derby
The monument is the remains of a medieval standing cross located in the
churchyard immediately south of All Saints' Church. It is constructed of
sandstone and comprises three circular steps and the original pedestal of a
medieval cross shaft which is now surmounted by an 18th or 19th century column
and sundial. The steps are constructed of blocks which are tied together with
iron staples. The bottom step has a diameter of c.2m and the overall height of
the steps and pedestal is c.1m. Originally, the pedestal would have been
surmounted by the shaft and head of a medieval cross, but these components are
now missing. The cross would have played a role in the liturgy of the church.
Modern graves falling within the constraint area, and the surface of the
adjacent path, are excluded from the scheduling though the ground underneath
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
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 the shaft and head are missing from the standing cross in All Saints'
churchyard, the monument is reasonably well-preserved and is important for
being in its original location.
Source: Historic England
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