Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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

Churchyard cross, St Margaret's churchyard

A Scheduled Monument in Sibsey, Lincolnshire

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »
Street or Overhead View
Contributor Photos »

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.

Coordinates

Latitude: 53.0367 / 53°2'11"N

Longitude: 0.0186 / 0°1'6"E

OS Eastings: 535447.143405

OS Northings: 350724.929975

OS Grid: TF354507

Mapcode National: GBR JVR.RHL

Mapcode Global: WHHLC.8X3X

Entry Name: Churchyard cross, St Margaret's churchyard

Scheduled Date: 4 January 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010677

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22672

County: Lincolnshire

Civil Parish: Sibsey

Built-Up Area: Sibsey

Traditional County: Lincolnshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire

Church of England Parish: Sibsey and Carrington group St Margaret

Church of England Diocese: Lincoln

Details

The monument includes the remains of a standing stone cross located in the
churchyard of St Margaret's Church, Sibsey, approximately 4m south of the
south porch. The cross is medieval in date and is constructed of limestone.
The monument includes the base of the cross and part of the shaft.

The base is composed of two stones. The lower stone, which is partially
buried, takes the form of a shallow plinth with a chamfer; it is
approximately 0.8m square in section and stands about 0.15m above the present
ground level. The upper stone is a socket stone, approximately 0.7m square in
section with chamfered upper corners, standing to a height of 0.28m. The shaft
fragment is set into the centre of the socket stone and is rectangular in
section at the base rising through chamfered corners in tapering octagonal
section to a height of about 0.45m. The cross is Listed Grade II.

MAP EXTRACT
The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

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 Margaret's Church, Sibsey, is a good example of a
medieval standing cross with a quadrangular base and octagonal shaft. Situated
on the south side of the church, it is believed to stand near its original
position. Archaeological deposits relating to the monument's construction 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

Other
churchyard gardener, (1994)

Source: Historic England

Other nearby scheduled monuments

AncientMonuments.uk 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 AncientMonuments.uk for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself.

AncientMonuments.uk is a Good Stuff website.