Ancient Monuments

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Corby Glen market cross

A Scheduled Monument in Corby Glen, Lincolnshire

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Latitude: 52.8134 / 52°48'48"N

Longitude: -0.5191 / 0°31'8"W

OS Eastings: 499906.651002

OS Northings: 325009.175385

OS Grid: SK999250

Mapcode National: GBR FSS.MKQ

Mapcode Global: WHGL4.0K21

Entry Name: Corby Glen market cross

Scheduled Date: 19 January 1967

Last Amended: 22 August 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009204

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22648

County: Lincolnshire

Civil Parish: Corby Glen

Built-Up Area: Corby Glen

Traditional County: Lincolnshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire

Church of England Parish: Corby St John the Evangelist

Church of England Diocese: Lincoln


The monument includes Corby Glen market cross, a standing stone cross located
in the former market-place. The cross is of stepped form and medieval and
later in date. The monument includes the base, comprising three steps and a
socket-stone, the shaft, knop and head.

The base includes three steps, all octagonal in plan and constructed of worn
slabs of limestone. The lowest step rests on coursed blue brick and reaches a
maximum height of 1.12m above the sloping ground surface. The second and third
steps are about 0.28m high. All the steps are medieval in date, with later
repair represented by iron clamps; the brick coursing is a 19th century
addition. On the upper step rests the socket-stone, a plain limestone slab of
square section with chamfered corners. Set into the socket-stone is the shaft,
which is square in section at the base rising over 1.95m through chamfered
corners in slightly tapering octagonal section. Both the socket-stone and
shaft are believed to be medieval. The shaft terminates in a moulded and
chamfered knop of square section. Above is the head, composed of a short
pedestal of square section, similiar in width to the shaft, topped by a stone
ball. The knop and head are believed to be late 17th century in date. The full
height of the cross is about 3.5m.

The monument includes a 1m margin around the cross which is essential for the
monument's support and preservation. The modern paving immediately surrounding
the cross is excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath it is

This cross is Listed Grade II.

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

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.

Corby Glen market cross is a good example of a medieval standing cross with a
stepped base. Situated in the former market-place it is believed to stand in
or near its original position. The limited development of the area immediately
surrounding the cross indicates that archaeological deposits relating to the
monument's construction and use in this location are likely to survive intact.
While the steps, socket-stone and shaft have survived from medieval times, the
restoration of the cross in the post-medieval period has resulted in its
continued function as a public monument and amenity.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
'Kelly's Directory' in Kelly's Directory, (1909), 153
Davies, D S, 'Lincolnshire Notes and Queries' in Ancient Stone Crosses in Kesteven, , Vol. XII no.5, (1913), 135
MWT, AM12, (1966)

Source: Historic England

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