Ancient Monuments

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Hawsker Cross wayside cross, 100m east of Hawsker Hall Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Hawsker-cum-Stainsacre, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.455 / 54°27'17"N

Longitude: -0.5787 / 0°34'43"W

OS Eastings: 492243.108612

OS Northings: 507548.761739

OS Grid: NZ922075

Mapcode National: GBR SJDX.HS

Mapcode Global: WHGB5.29P3

Entry Name: Hawsker Cross wayside cross, 100m east of Hawsker Hall Farm

Scheduled Date: 5 December 1928

Last Amended: 12 December 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009858

English Heritage Legacy ID: 25653

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Hawsker-cum-Stainsacre

Built-Up Area: Hawsker

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Hawsker cum Stainsacre All Saints

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes a wayside cross known as Hawsker Cross set up beside an
old road from Whitby Abbey to Robin Hood's Bay. It stands in a vegetable
garden 100m east of Hawsker Hall Farm.
The cross consists of a stone base split into two halves at the socket hole
and a shaft broken off below the head. The base is of fine yellow sandstone,
measuring 1.07m on the north side and 0.86m on the west side. The base stone
is 0.31m high. The socket is 0.51m by 0.41m and the shaft is cemented into it.
The shaft stands 1.84m high and is 0.36m by 0.22m at the base, tapering to
0.29m by 0.18m at the top.
The cross shaft is decorated with fine interlace carving on the north east and
south sides, although the patterns are badly eroded. The west side bears a
vine scroll carving. On the east and west sides are faint traces of figure
carving as well. At the corners a simple roll moulding defines the carved
panels. The style is of the Anglo-Scandinavian period and dates from the
tenth century.
The garden wall to the west of the cross is excluded from the scheduling
although the ground beneath it is included.

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.

Hawsker Cross wayside cross survives well in spite of losing its head. It is a
fine example of the late Anglo-Scandinavian type of sculpture. It gives us
insight into the beliefs of the medieval period and may mark a boundary of
the Whitby Abbey lands on the south side. This may be compared to the cross at
Swarth Howe to the north west of Whitby.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Cramp, R, Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Stone Sculpture in England: Volume I, (1984), 4
Hayes, R H, Old Roads and Pannierways in North East Yorkshire, (1988), 33

Source: Historic England

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