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Churchyard cross, St Andrew's churchyard

A Scheduled Monument in Denton, Lincolnshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.883 / 52°52'58"N

Longitude: -0.7155 / 0°42'55"W

OS Eastings: 486533.878979

OS Northings: 332499.237002

OS Grid: SK865324

Mapcode National: GBR CP2.CWQ

Mapcode Global: WHFJH.ZSGP

Entry Name: Churchyard cross, St Andrew's churchyard

Scheduled Date: 5 October 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009207

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22651

County: Lincolnshire

Civil Parish: Denton

Built-Up Area: Denton

Traditional County: Lincolnshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire

Church of England Parish: Denton St Andrew

Church of England Diocese: Lincoln

Details

The monument includes a standing stone cross located in the churchyard of St
Andrew's Church, Denton, south west of the south porch. The cross is medieval
in date and is constructed of limestone. The monument includes the base,
comprising a socket-stone, and the shaft. The cross is also Listed Grade II.

The socket-stone is approximately 0.77m square in section and stands up to
0.27m above the ground surface, into which it is partly buried. It is
undecorated with a moulded and chamfered upper part which develops into a top
of octagonal section; the upper edge is slightly chamfered. The shaft is set
into the centre of the socket-stone and is rectangular in section at the base
rising through chamfered corners in tapering octagonal section to a height of
0.52m.

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

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.

The churchyard cross at Denton is a good example of the remains of a
quadrangular base and octagonal shaft of a medieval standing cross. Situated
near the south porch, it is believed to stand in or near its original
position. Limited disturbance of the area immediately surrounding the cross
indicates that archaeological deposits relating to the monument's construction
and use are likely to survive intact. The cross has not been restored and has
continued in use as a public monument and amenity from medieval times to the
present day.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Davies, D S, 'Lincolnshire Notes and Queries' in Ancient Stone Crosses in Kesteven, , Vol. XII no.5, (1913), 138

Source: Historic England

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