Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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

John Cross boundary cross on Shooting House Rigg immediately east of Wilson's Shooting House

A Scheduled Monument in Sneaton, 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: 54.4118 / 54°24'42"N

Longitude: -0.6142 / 0°36'51"W

OS Eastings: 490034.969

OS Northings: 502698.594

OS Grid: NZ900026

Mapcode National: GBR SK4F.T8

Mapcode Global: WHGBB.JCQP

Entry Name: John Cross boundary cross on Shooting House Rigg immediately east of Wilson's Shooting House

Scheduled Date: 6 July 1934

Last Amended: 12 December 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011744

English Heritage Legacy ID: 25683

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Sneaton

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Fylingdales St Stephen

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument comprises a cross base with a freestone boulder set roughly into
the socket. It stands at the junction of a footpath from New May Beck across
Low Moor running west-east and a path from the B1416 south to the Robin Hood's
Bay Road footpath 1km to the south. It marks the boundary of the lands of
Whitby Abbey during the medieval period.
The cross base is of fine gritstone, well worn and standing 0.21m above the
turf. The base measures 0.58m by 0.63m and the socket is 0.4m by 0.28m. A
boulder 0.62m long has been inserted into the socket. There is a letter `C'
cut in the north face, showing its reuse as a boundary marker for the Cholmley
The area on which the cross stands is littered with the remains of the
shooting house which stood on the site. This building has traces of medieval
stonework in the rubble. It stood immediately beside the cross on the south
east side. The remains of the shooting house are excluded from the scheduling
as they are not yet fully understood, although the ground beneath this feature
is included.

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 cross base called John Cross on Shooting House Rigg was a boundary cross
for Whitby Abbey.
The base survives well in spite of the loss of the original shaft and head. It
is in its original position on an eminence, making it visible for a
considerable distance in each direction.
The cross gives an indication of the extent of the lands of Whitby Abbey
before the Reformation and was probably a waymarker and reminder of the faith
to the medieval traveller.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Graham, L, The Crosses of the North Yorkshire Moors, (1993), 48

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.