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Wayside Cross called Botton Cross on Danby High Moor

A Scheduled Monument in Danby, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.4087 / 54°24'31"N

Longitude: -0.9273 / 0°55'38"W

OS Eastings: 469722.785781

OS Northings: 501995.604634

OS Grid: NZ697019

Mapcode National: GBR PKZG.1D

Mapcode Global: WHF91.QGM3

Entry Name: Wayside Cross called Botton Cross on Danby High Moor

Scheduled Date: 1 December 1938

Last Amended: 21 February 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010081

English Heritage Legacy ID: 25661

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Danby

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Danby with Castleton and Commondale

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes a wayside cross known as Botton Cross on Danby High
Moor. It stands by the course of an old road which runs from the junction at
the cross called Young Ralph and heads south east towards Fryup Head and
Rosedale. The cross called Fat Betty is also on this route.

The cross is of an early medieval wheelhead type and survives as a base with
the top part of the shaft inserted into the socket hole and a lower portion of
the shaft lying on the ground beside it. The base is a gritstone block,
slightly tapered towards the top, measuring 0.58m by 0.57m at the ground and
narrowing to 0.48m by 0.47m at the top. The base is 0.51m high. The socket was
cut to take a stone shaft 0.34m by 0.21m . The stone in this socket is 0.24m
by 0.17m by 0.68m and is shaped at the top with shoulders to splay out into a
wheelhead but the head is missing.

Beside the cross, on the east side is a portion of dressed stone measuring
0.33m by 0.23m and 0.64m long. The stone is of the same type of local grit and
is cut to the same profile as the shaft and probably forms part of its lower

The recumbent stone is included in the scheduling of this monument.

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.

Botton Cross wayside cross survives well in spite of the loss of the wheelhead
and the break in the shaft. Enough remains to identify it as an early medieval
wheelhead cross of which Fat Betty is the only other known example in the
region. This cross serves to remind us of the medieval religious presence in
the landscape and the roadways that used to cross the moors to bring commerce
to the region.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Hayes, R H, Old Roads and Pannierways in North East Yorkshire, (1988), 15

Source: Historic England

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