Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Wayside cross known as Baysdale Cross on Middle Head Intake 1000m south west of Baysdale Abbey

A Scheduled Monument in Westerdale, North Yorkshire

More Photos »
Approximate Location Map
Large Map »

If Google Street View is available, the image is from the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the monument. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.


Latitude: 54.4424 / 54°26'32"N

Longitude: -1.0512 / 1°3'4"W

OS Eastings: 461632.173076

OS Northings: 505633.108764

OS Grid: NZ616056

Mapcode National: GBR PK32.79

Mapcode Global: WHF8S.TLMR

Entry Name: Wayside cross known as Baysdale Cross on Middle Head Intake 1000m south west of Baysdale Abbey

Scheduled Date: 17 March 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010083

English Heritage Legacy ID: 25663

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Westerdale

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Westerdale Christ Church

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes a wayside cross called Baysdale Cross on the moor to the
south west of Baysdale Abbey. The cross stands 10m west of a trackway which
used to link the abbey with Bransdale to the south and is still visible as a
flagged trod (packhorse track) to the south of the cross for about a mile.

The monument comprises a cross base, cross shaft fragment in the socket and a
portion of shaft with two broken cross arms beside it to the west. The base is
of banded gritstone measuring 0.62m by 0.53m at ground level, tapering to
0.56m by 0.49m at its top. The base is 0.39m high. The socket hole measures
0.32m by 0.21m. Inserted in the socket is a portion of a cross shaft measuring
0.27m by 0.21m at the bottom and 0.41m high. There are traces of a roll
moulding on the corner edges of the west face of this fragment. Another piece
of the shaft, with this roll moulding on two sides lies in the heather to the
west. This piece is 0.25m by 0.17m and 0.36m long with a taper to match the
base of the fragment in the socket. There are two further fragments of dressed
stone which are shaped to look like the arms of a cross and would fit the
dimensions of the shaft. These pieces are 0.25m by 0.23m by 0.16m and 0.23m by
0.17m by 0.16m.
In all the cross is almost complete, although in pieces. It would have stood
about 1.4m high from the base.

The cross dates from the medieval period.

The fragment of the shaft and the two fragments of the arms on the ground are
included in the scheduling as is the ground beneath the 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.

The Baysdale wayside cross survives well in spite of the fragmentary nature of
its condition. It is one of a medieval type which can be dated to the 12th
century by reference to the cross known as Old Ralph in Westerdale. It also
provides important insights into the management of the medieval landscape and
the faith of the Christians who erected it beside the road.

Source: Historic England


Ms. in SMR, White, Stanhope, (1970)

Source: Historic England

Other nearby scheduled monuments is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself. is a Good Stuff website.