Ancient Monuments

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Westborough village cross

A Scheduled Monument in Westborough and Dry Doddington, Lincolnshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.9924 / 52°59'32"N

Longitude: -0.7336 / 0°44'0"W

OS Eastings: 485102.877632

OS Northings: 344649.752435

OS Grid: SK851446

Mapcode National: GBR CMQ.FBZ

Mapcode Global: WHFJ3.P1WR

Entry Name: Westborough village cross

Scheduled Date: 13 October 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009210

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22654

County: Lincolnshire

Civil Parish: Westborough and Dry Doddington

Built-Up Area: Westborough

Traditional County: Lincolnshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire

Church of England Parish: Westborough All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Lincoln

Details

The monument includes Westborough village cross, a standing stone cross
located on the village green. The cross is of stepped form and is medieval and
later in date. The monument includes the base, comprising four medieval steps
and a modern socket-stone.

The base includes four steps, all roughly square in plan and constructed of
limestone blocks. The lowest step is about 3.1m square, the second 2.4m
square, the third 1.7m square and the fourth 1.15m square. All four steps are
medieval in date with modern repair. On the top step rests the socket-stone, a
modern slab 0.64m square in section and 0.2m high. There is a small hole of
square section in the upper face which is now closed with mortar. The full
height of the cross is approximately 1.65m.

The cross is also Listed Grade II.

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.

Westborough village cross is a good example of the stepped base of a medieval
standing cross. Situated on the village green, it is believed to stand in or
near its original position. Minimal 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 remains of
the cross have been little altered in modern times, having continued in use as
a public monument and amenity from the medieval period 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), 149-150
Other
lives at 'The Hollies' to e of cross, workman who put socket-stone in place, (1993)

Source: Historic England

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