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Churchyard cross, St Andrew's churchyard

A Scheduled Monument in Heckington, Lincolnshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.9821 / 52°58'55"N

Longitude: -0.2991 / 0°17'56"W

OS Eastings: 514292.167654

OS Northings: 344106.833017

OS Grid: TF142441

Mapcode National: GBR GSG.36S

Mapcode Global: WHHLL.C9TP

Entry Name: Churchyard cross, St Andrew's churchyard

Scheduled Date: 4 January 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010675

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22670

County: Lincolnshire

Civil Parish: Heckington

Built-Up Area: Heckington

Traditional County: Lincolnshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire

Church of England Parish: Heckington St Andrew

Church of England Diocese: Lincoln

Details

The monument includes the remains of a standing stone cross located in the
churchyard of St Andrew's Church, Heckington, approximately 8m to the
south west of the south transept. The cross is constructed of limestone and is
principally medieval in date. The monument includes the base, comprising three
steps, a plinth and a socket stone, and a fragment of the shaft, which are
medieval in date; and a brick kerb and core, which date from an early 20th
century restoration.

The remains of the medieval cross stand in a flat area, approximately square
in shape, defined by a brick kerb of early 20th century date. The kerb is
largely buried and is most clearly visible on the northern side of the cross.
The base of the cross includes three steps built around a modern brick core;
they are roughly square in plan and cover an area about 2.8m square. The
lowest step is partially buried so that the top of the step is largely level
with the ground surface, and on the top step are the remains of iron clamps
believed to date from the early 20th century restoration. The plinth is 0.98m
square at the base and chamfered above to a height of 0.13m. On the plinth
rests the socket stone, a single block standing 0.6m high above the plinth and
measuring 0.8m square in section. The upper edge of the socket stone is
chamfered. In the top of the socket stone is the socket, rectangular in
section, into which the shaft fragment is set with lead. The shaft fragment
has moulded and chamfered corners, above which it tapers in octagonal section
to a height of 0.71m above the socket stone. In each of the east and west
faces of the shaft is the stub of an iron fitting. The full surviving height
of the cross is approximately 1m. The cross is Listed Grade II.

MAP EXTRACT
The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 1 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

A standing cross is a free standing upright structure, usually of stone,
mostly erected during the medieval period (mid 10th to mid 16th centuries AD).
Standing crosses served a variety of functions. In churchyards they served as
stations for outdoor processions, particularly in the observance of Palm
Sunday. Elsewhere, standing crosses were used within settlements as places for
preaching, public proclamation and penance, as well as defining rights of
sanctuary. Standing crosses were also employed to mark boundaries between
parishes, property, or settlements. A few crosses were erected to commemorate
battles. Some crosses were linked to particular saints, whose support and
protection their presence would have helped to invoke. Crosses in market
places may have helped to validate transactions. After the Reformation, some
crosses continued in use as foci for municipal or borough ceremonies, for
example as places for official proclamations and announcements; some were the
scenes of games or recreational activity.
Standing crosses were distributed throughout England and are thought to have
numbered in excess of 12,000. However, their survival since the Reformation
has been variable, being much affected by local conditions, attitudes and
religious sentiment. In particular, many cross-heads were destroyed by
iconoclasts during the 16th and 17th centuries. Less than 2,000 medieval
standing crosses, with or without cross-heads, are now thought to exist. The
oldest and most basic form of standing cross is the monolith, a stone shaft
often set directly in the ground without a base. The most common form is the
stepped cross, in which the shaft is set in a socket stone and raised upon a
flight of steps; this type of cross remained current from the 11th to 12th
centuries until after the Reformation. Where the cross-head survives it may
take a variety of forms, from a lantern-like structure to a crucifix; the more
elaborate examples date from the 15th century. Much less common than stepped
crosses are spire-shaped crosses, often composed of three or four receding
stages with elaborate architectural decoration and/or sculptured figures; the
most famous of these include the Eleanor crosses, erected by Edward I at the
stopping places of the funeral cortege of his wife, who died in 1290. Also
uncommon are the preaching crosses which were built in public places from the
13th century, typically in the cemeteries of religious communities and
cathedrals, market places and wide thoroughfares; they include a stepped base,
buttresses supporting a vaulted canopy, in turn carrying either a shaft and
head or a pinnacled spire. Standing crosses contribute significantly to our
understanding of medieval customs, both secular and religious, and to our
knowledge of medieval parishes and settlement patterns. All crosses which
survive as standing monuments, especially those which stand in or near their
original location, are considered worthy of protection.

The churchyard cross at St Andrew's Church, Heckington, is a good example of
a medieval standing cross with a stepped base. Limited disturbance in the
area immediately surrounding the cross indicates that archaeological deposits
relating to its construction and use in this location are likely to survive
intact. The cross has been little altered in modern times and has continued
in use as a public monument and amenity from medieval times to the present
day.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Trollope, E, Sleaford, and the Wapentakes of Flaxwell and Arwardhun, (1872), 396
'Kelly's Directory' in Kelly's Directory of Lincolnshire, (1909), 296
Davies, D S, 'Lincolnshire Notes and Queries' in Ancient Stone Crosses in Kesteven, , Vol. XII no.5, (1913), 142

Source: Historic England

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