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Anglian high cross in the churchyard of St Peter's Church

A Scheduled Monument in Hope, Derbyshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.3477 / 53°20'51"N

Longitude: -1.7426 / 1°44'33"W

OS Eastings: 417231.672782

OS Northings: 383450.524647

OS Grid: SK172834

Mapcode National: GBR JY8Q.JN

Mapcode Global: WHCCM.63FY

Entry Name: Anglian high cross in the churchyard of St Peter's Church

Scheduled Date: 29 December 1953

Last Amended: 8 July 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008828

English Heritage Legacy ID: 23357

County: Derbyshire

Civil Parish: Hope

Built-Up Area: Hope

Traditional County: Derbyshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Derbyshire

Church of England Parish: Hope St Peter

Church of England Diocese: Derby

Details

The monument is a probable ninth century high cross located immediately south
of St Peter's Church. It comprises a rectangular section gritstone shaft set
into a modern socle or socket stone. Originally a cross head would have
surmounted the shaft but this is now missing.
The shaft is c.2.5m tall by 42cm wide north-south by 26cm east-west and has
been broken and pieced back together. It's original location is not known but
it is common for early medieval crosses in Derbyshire to have been located
south of a church. The shaft tapers towards the top and is also slightly
tapered near the base. Flat-band mouldings line its angles, ending in small
plinths at the base. These mouldings, which are broken in places, frame panels
of carved ornamentation. The west face of the cross includes three panels
separated by flat-band mouldings. The topmost contains interlace decoration,
the bottom one a circular `Celtic' style of interlace, and the centre one a
pair of figures in a rectangular frame. The figures are too faint to identify.
The east face has five panels, the topmost containing interlace while the next
one down contains a possible crucifixion scene comprising two figures on
either side of an eroded vertical object which may be a cross or a tree. The
middle panel contains more `Celtic' interlace and the two lower panels each
contain a stylised leaf or flower, more or less identical but for the angle at
which each is set and comprising a single stalk with five petals or leaf-
segments.
The north and south faces each have a small upper panel, accounting for about
a quarter of the shaft, with a larger panel below which, in both cases,
contains interlace decoration. On the south face the upper panel contains
interlace of a different form while, on the north face, it contains floral
decoration comprising berries and curling leaves. This design indicates that,
although the cross includes elements suggestive of Viking influence, it is
probably a late example of a native Anglian cross rather than a true Anglo-
Scandinavian hybrid. The cross is also Listed Grade II. A number of graves
falling within the area of scheduling, together with the surface of the
adjacent path, are excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath
them is included.

MAP EXTRACT
The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 1 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

High crosses, frequently heavily decorated, were erected in a variety of
locations in the eighth, ninth and tenth centuries AD. They are found
throughout northern England with a few examples further south. Surviving
examples are of carved stone but it is known that decorated timber crosses
were also used for similar purposes and some stone crosses display evidence of
carpentry techniques in their creation and adornment, attesting to this
tradition. High crosses have shafts supporting carved cross heads which may be
either free-armed or infilled with a 'wheel' or disc. They may be set within
dressed or rough stone bases called socles. The cross heads were frequently
small, the broad cross shaft being the main feature of the cross.
High crosses served a variety of functions, some being associated with
established churches and monasteries and playing a role in religious services,
some acting as cenotaphs or marking burial places, and others marking routes
or boundaries and acting as meeting places for local communities. Decoration
of high crosses divides into four main types: plant scrolls, plaiting and
interlace, birds and animals and, lastly, figural representation which is the
rarest category and often takes the form of religious iconography. The carved
ornamentation was often painted in a variety of colours though traces of these
pigments now survive only rarely. The earliest high crosses were created and
erected by the native population, probably under the direction of the Church,
but later examples were often commissioned by secular patrons and reflect the
art styles and mythology of Viking settlers.
Several distinct regional groupings and types of high cross have been
identified, some being the product of single schools of craftsmen. There are
fewer than 50 high crosses surviving in England and this is likely to
represent only a small proportion of those originally erected. Some were
defaced or destroyed during bouts of iconoclasm during the 16th and 17th
centuries. Others fell out of use and were taken down and reused in new
building works. They provide important insights into art traditions and
changing art styles during the early medieval period, into religious beliefs
during the same era and into the impact of the Scandinavian settlement of the
north of England. All well-preserved examples are identified as nationally
important.

This cross in St Peter's churchyard is a reasonably well-preserved example of
a late Anglian high cross whose form and unusual carvings illustrate some of
the influence brought to this class of monument by the Viking settlement.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: Derbyshire, (1953), 163
Routh, T E, 'Derbyshire Archaeological Journal' in Derbyshire Archaeological Journal, , Vol. 58, (1937), 31-2

Source: Historic England

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