Ancient Monuments

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Wayside cross known as Tinker Cross

A Scheduled Monument in Heptonstall, Calderdale

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Latitude: 53.7499 / 53°44'59"N

Longitude: -2.0179 / 2°1'4"W

OS Eastings: 398915.5415

OS Northings: 428175.2825

OS Grid: SD989281

Mapcode National: GBR GTB2.XH

Mapcode Global: WHB8D.Z08K

Entry Name: Wayside cross known as Tinker Cross

Scheduled Date: 18 January 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011754

English Heritage Legacy ID: 23382

County: Calderdale

Civil Parish: Heptonstall

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Heptonstall St Thomas a Becket and St Thomas the Apostle

Church of England Diocese: Leeds


The monument is the remains of the medieval wayside cross known as Tinker
Cross. It includes the socket or socle of the cross which comprises a dressed
gritstone block, measuring approximately 70cm square, with a rectangular
socket hole measuring roughly 40cm by 20cm by 15cm deep. Originally there
would also have been a shaft and cross head but these components are now
missing, possibly as a result of 17th century iconoclasm. The cross is located
c.10m north of Tinker Bank Lane which is an ancient right of way leading up
the steep incline through Tinker Bank Wood to Heptonstall village. Before the
bank became wooded, the cross would have been visible from the road junction
below and served as a guidepost for travellers. The current name for the cross
dates to the late 16th century when it was noted in the Heptonstall Court

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.

Although lacking its cross shaft and head, Tinker Cross is a good example of a
documented, in situ, wayside cross associated with an ancient right of way.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Heptonstall History Trail
Hill, Angela Shackleton, (1994)
PRN 2425,

Source: Historic England

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