Ancient Monuments

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York Cross wayside cross, 700m north east of Foster Howes on Sneaton High Moor

A Scheduled Monument in Sneaton, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.4016 / 54°24'5"N

Longitude: -0.6481 / 0°38'53"W

OS Eastings: 487859.226358

OS Northings: 501524.468166

OS Grid: NZ878015

Mapcode National: GBR RKXJ.HX

Mapcode Global: WHGBB.0MNJ

Entry Name: York Cross wayside cross, 700m north east of Foster Howes on Sneaton High Moor

Scheduled Date: 26 January 1938

Last Amended: 11 January 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009857

English Heritage Legacy ID: 25652

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Sneaton

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Sneaton St Hilda

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes a wayside cross known as York Cross, 700m north east of
Foster Howes on Sneaton High Moor. It is also known as the Jack Cross. It
stands beside an old packhorse route from Hackness to Whitby known as the
Pannierman's Causeway. The cross has been said to be on a barrow.
The cross survives as a stone base and broken upright shaft. The base is made
of fine yellow sandstone and is almost square, measuring 0.65m on the east
side and 0.63m on the south side. The base is 0.35m high. The oblong socket is
badly eroded and measures 0.32m x 0.3m. The shaft stands 0.92m high to where
it has been broken. The shaft is loosely resting in the socket. There is an OS
benchmark cut into the west face of the base.
There is now no trace of decoration on the cross shaft although the corners
may have been chamfered. Traces of the old road are no longer visible in the
heather. A new public footpath from the forestry land to the east leads up to
Foster Howes and passes the cross to the south. The cross is Listed Grade

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

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 shaped 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.

York Cross survives well in spite of losing part of the shaft and the
head. It stands in its original position beside the line of an old pack horse
way from Hackness to Whitby known as the Pannierman's Causeway. As a wayside
cross it is one of a line of crosses on this route which includes Ann's Cross
on Sneaton High Moor.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Hayes, R H, Old Roads and Pannierways in North East Yorkshire, (1988), 31

Source: Historic England

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