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Denton village cross

A Scheduled Monument in Denton, Lincolnshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.8833 / 52°52'59"N

Longitude: -0.7146 / 0°42'52"W

OS Eastings: 486593.941348

OS Northings: 332528.275017

OS Grid: SK865325

Mapcode National: GBR CP3.65P

Mapcode Global: WHGKN.0S0H

Entry Name: Denton village cross

Scheduled Date: 13 October 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009213

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22659

County: Lincolnshire

Civil Parish: Denton

Built-Up Area: Denton (South Kesteven)

Traditional County: Lincolnshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire

Church of England Parish: Denton St Andrew

Church of England Diocese: Lincoln

Details

The monument includes Denton village cross, a standing stone cross located in
the front garden of Denton House, east of the parish church. The cross is
believed to stand in or near its original position on the former village
green. It is medieval in date and is constructed of limestone. The monument
includes the base, comprising a socket-stone, and the shaft.
The cross is Listed Grade II.
The cross is located in a small paved area approximately 15m to the north west
of Denton House. The base rests directly on the paving stones, and consists
of a socket-stone measuring 0.92m square in section at the base and 0.38m
high; the corners are moulded and chamfered to form a top of octagonal
section. Each side of the socket-stone is carved with a shield at the centre
of a quatrefoil. Into the centre of the socket-stone is set the remains of the
shaft, a single stone 0.43m square in section at the base with chamfered
corners rising in tapering octagonal section to its original height of 1.58m.
The fragment terminates in a flat top upon which an upper stone was formerly
placed.

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.

Denton village cross is a good example of the carved base of a medieval
standing cross, which survives in good condition. Situated on the site of the
village green, it is believed to stand in or near its original position. The
cross has not been restored, and 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.

Source: Historic England

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