Ancient Monuments

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Wayside cross known as Stump Cross on Beacon Hill, Danby

A Scheduled Monument in Glaisdale, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.4749 / 54°28'29"N

Longitude: -0.8532 / 0°51'11"W

OS Eastings: 474411.076389

OS Northings: 509439.152593

OS Grid: NZ744094

Mapcode National: GBR QJHP.2N

Mapcode Global: WHF8P.VSWC

Entry Name: Wayside cross known as Stump Cross on Beacon Hill, Danby

Scheduled Date: 9 January 1963

Last Amended: 16 February 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010079

English Heritage Legacy ID: 25658

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Glaisdale

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Glaisdale St Thomas

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes a wayside cross known as Stump Cross on Beacon Hill,
Danby. The cross stands beside two late medieval trackways, called the
Stonegate, which runs past the cross from the village called Stonegate to
Danby Beacon, and the Leavergate which runs from the beacon towards Easington.

The cross, which is also a Listed Building Grade II, consists of a cross base
on a cradle of long stones with a broken portion of the original shaft
inserted in the socket. The cradle is formed from three stones of local fine
gritstone laid in three sides of a square. The northerly stone measures 0.84m
long and about 0.3m thick; the western stone is 0.2m long and 0.35m thick; the
eastern stone is 1.35m long and 0.4m thick. On top of this cradle is a stone
which tapers slightly from 0.78m to 0.64m on the north side and 0.61m at the
base to 0.61m on the east side. The height is 0.26m. On top of this
construction is the cross base which is a gritstone block measuring 0.64m on
the north side by 0.62m on the east side and stands 0.45m high.
The socket hole is 0.28m by 0.25m and it holds a roughly broken stone 0.25m
by 0.21m by 0.43m.

The cradle, the stone block and the cross base are included in the scheduling.

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.

The Stump Cross wayside cross survives well in spite of being elevated on an
eccentric platform. It is in its original position beside two late medieval
trackways, the Stonegate and the Leavergate.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Hayes, R H, Old Roads and Pannierways in North East Yorkshire, (1988), 21

Source: Historic England

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