Ancient Monuments

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Scarisbrick Park wayside cross

A Scheduled Monument in Scarisbrick, Lancashire

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Latitude: 53.601 / 53°36'3"N

Longitude: -2.9269 / 2°55'36"W

OS Eastings: 338758.1875

OS Northings: 412003.5

OS Grid: SD387120

Mapcode National: GBR 8V0S.4W

Mapcode Global: WH869.0RJ8

Entry Name: Scarisbrick Park wayside cross

Scheduled Date: 25 October 1977

Last Amended: 9 August 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009492

English Heritage Legacy ID: 23744

County: Lancashire

Civil Parish: Scarisbrick

Traditional County: Lancashire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lancashire

Church of England Parish: Scarisbrick St Mark

Church of England Diocese: Liverpool


The monument includes Scarisbrick Park medieval wayside cross. It is located
on the eastern side of Southport Road at what was originally the edge of
Scarisbrick Park, and includes a cross cut from a single slab of rough stone
which is socketed into a square stone base or sockle. The monument is
rectangular in cross section and tapers slightly towards the top where each of
the three cross arms have been partly mutilated. It measures approximately
1.7m tall by 0.3m thick. Two square holes have been sunk into the cross
originally to support a crucifix. The cross was erected in medieval times as
part of two lines of wayside crosses which led from Scarisbrick Park, seat of
the influential Scarisbrick family. One of these lines led to Burscough
Priory, founded c.1190 by the Augustinian order; the other, of which
Scarisbrick Park cross is one, led to the market town of Ormskirk. The cross
would have served the dual purpose of a wayside shrine and a route marker
across what was then treacherous marshy ground. Funeral processions may have
rested here and offered up prayers for the departed on the last journey to
their burial place.
A surrounding wall and an information board are excluded from the scheduling
but the ground beneath these features is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Wayside crosses are one of several types of Christian cross erected during the
medieval period, mostly from the 9th to 15th centuries AD. In addition to
serving the function of reiterating and reinforcing the Christian faith
amongst those who passed the cross and of reassuring the traveller, wayside
crosses often fulfilled a role as waymarkers, especially in difficult and
otherwise unmarked terrain. The crosses might be on regularly used routes
linking ordinary settlements or on routes having a more specifically religious
function, including those providing access to religious sites for parishioners
and funeral processions, or marking long-distance routes frequented on
Over 350 wayside crosses are known nationally, concentrated in south west
England throughout Cornwall and on Dartmoor where they form the commonest type
of stone cross. A small group also occurs on the North York Moors. Relatively
few examples have been recorded elsewhere and these are generally confined to
remote moorland locations.
Outside Cornwall almost all wayside crosses take the form of a `Latin' cross,
in which the cross-head itself is within the projecting arms of an unenclosed
cross. In Cornwall wayside crosses vary considerably in form and decoration.
The commonest type includes a round, or `wheel', head on the faces of which
various forms of cross or related designs were carved in relief or incised,
the spaces between the cross arms possibly pierced. The design was sometimes
supplemented with a relief figure of Christ and the shaft might bear
decorative panels and motifs. Less common forms in Cornwall include the
`Latin' cross and, much rarer, the simple slab with a low relief cross on both
faces. Rare examples of wheel-head and slab-form crosses also occur within the
North York Moors group. Most wayside crosses have either a simple socketed
base or show no evidence for a separate base at all.
Wayside crosses contribute significantly to our understanding of medieval
religious customs and sculptural traditions and to our knowledge of medieval
routeways and settlement patterns. All wayside crosses which survive as earth-
fast monuments, except those which are extremely damaged and removed from
their original locations, are considered worthy of protection.

Despite some damage to the arms of the monument, Scarisbrick wayside cross
survives reasonably well and is a rare survival of this class of monument in

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Taylor, H, The Ancient Crosses and Holy Wells of Lancashire, (1906), 131-2
FMW Report, Capstick, B, Medieval Wayside Cross and Associated Well, Scarisbrick, (1988)
Morris,R., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Standing Crosses, (1990)
On site information board, West Lancashire District Council, Scarisbrick Wayside Cross,

Source: Historic England

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