Ancient Monuments

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North Kyme village cross

A Scheduled Monument in North Kyme, Lincolnshire

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Latitude: 53.0589 / 53°3'31"N

Longitude: -0.283 / 0°16'58"W

OS Eastings: 515164.507883

OS Northings: 352667.625112

OS Grid: TF151526

Mapcode National: GBR GRJ.77W

Mapcode Global: WHHL6.MCFV

Entry Name: North Kyme village cross

Scheduled Date: 27 January 1948

Last Amended: 26 August 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009226

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22632

County: Lincolnshire

Civil Parish: North Kyme

Built-Up Area: North Kyme

Traditional County: Lincolnshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire

Church of England Parish: North Kyme St Luke

Church of England Diocese: Lincoln


The monument includes North Kyme village cross, a Grade II Listed standing
stone cross, located at a road junction in the village centre. The cross is of
stepped form and is principally medieval in date. The monument includes the
base, which comprises two steps and a socket-stone, the shaft and the head.

The base is constructed of mortared limestone blocks. The steps are roughly
square in plan, and vertical holes in the top of some of the blocks indicate
the former position of iron clamps. The socket-stone is also square in plan
with chamfered upper and lower corners. The shaft is set into the middle of
the socket-stone with mortar and lead. It is composed of two stones; the
lower is quadrangular in section at the base and has chamfered corners which
taper upwards in octagonal section; the upper tapers in rounded, octagonal
section and then widens to form the knop. Vertical slots indicate the
position of iron clamps which formerly held the two parts of the shaft
together. Above the knop is the cross-head, which takes the form of a
four-sided cone with a flattened top. The full height of the cross is
approximately 3m.

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

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.

North Kyme village cross is a good example of a medieval standing cross with a
stepped base. Situated at a road junction in the village centre, it is
believed to stand in or near its original position. Limited development of the
area immediately surrounding the cross indicates that archaeological deposits
relating to the construction and use of the cross in this location are likely
to survive intact. The cross has continued in use as a public monument and
amenity from medieval times to the present day.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Davies, D S, 'Lincolnshire Notes and Queries' in Ancient Stone Crosses in Kesteven, , Vol. XII no.5, (1913), 145

Source: Historic England

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