Ancient Monuments

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Stainton by Langworth village cross

A Scheduled Monument in Stainton by Langworth, Lincolnshire

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Latitude: 53.2862 / 53°17'10"N

Longitude: -0.4087 / 0°24'31"W

OS Eastings: 506181.933985

OS Northings: 377766.041379

OS Grid: TF061777

Mapcode National: GBR TZLF.9P

Mapcode Global: WHGHV.PNLK

Entry Name: Stainton by Langworth village cross

Scheduled Date: 4 January 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010683

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22678

County: Lincolnshire

Civil Parish: Stainton by Langworth

Traditional County: Lincolnshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire

Church of England Parish: Stainton-by-Langworth St John the Baptist

Church of England Diocese: Lincoln


The monument includes Stainton by Langworth village cross, a standing stone
cross located in the front garden of a cottage on the south west side of the
present village green. The cottage was built on part of the village green in
the last century, and the cross stands in its original position on the former
green. The cross is medieval in date and is constructed of limestone. The
monument includes the base, comprising a socket stone, and part of the shaft.

The socket stone is constructed from a single limestone block approximately
0.9m square in section and standing to a height of about 0.5m above the ground
surface. The upper corners of the stone are chamfered. Set into the centre of
the socket stone with lead is the shaft fragment, rectangular in section at
the base rising through moulded and chamfered corners in tapering octagonal
section to a height of 1.36m. The top of the shaft fragment is rounded off to
a flat surface. Stainton by Langworth village cross is Listed Grade II.

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.

Stainton by Langworth village cross is a good example of a medieval standing
cross with a quadrangular base and octagonal shaft. Situated on the former
village green, it is believed to stand in or near its original position.
Limited activity in the area immediately surrounding the cross indicates that
archaeological deposits relating to the monument's construction and use are
likely to survive intact.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Pevsner, N, John, H, The Buildings of England: Lincolnshire, (1964), 215
Davies, D S, 'Lincolnshire Notes & Queries' in Ancient Stone Crosses in Lindsey and Holland Divisions of Lincs, , Vol. XIII no7, (1915), 215
Mrs. Bee (Senior), (1994)

Source: Historic England

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