Ancient Monuments

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Wayside cross at Howbrook crossroads

A Scheduled Monument in Wortley, Barnsley

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Latitude: 53.4789 / 53°28'44"N

Longitude: -1.5105 / 1°30'37"W

OS Eastings: 432586.281071

OS Northings: 398131.462294

OS Grid: SK325981

Mapcode National: GBR KXW6.SM

Mapcode Global: WHCBY.RTXC

Entry Name: Wayside cross at Howbrook crossroads

Scheduled Date: 1 May 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011757

English Heritage Legacy ID: 23391

County: Barnsley

Civil Parish: Wortley

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): South Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Wortley St Leonard

Church of England Diocese: Sheffield


The monument is the remains of a medieval wayside cross and includes the socle
or socket stone of the cross set into the remains of a disused boundary wall.
Originally there would also have been a shaft and cross head but these
components are now missing.
The socle is a dressed rectangular block with chamfered upper corners and a
rectangular socket hole. At the base it measures 80cm by 70cm and is
approximately 30cm high. The socket hole measures 30cm by 25cm but is open on
the east side where part of the socle is broken away. On the surface of the
socle, leading from the western edge to the socket hole, is a narrow groove of
uncertain purpose. It may have been used to run lead into the socket hole but
this is not clear. The base blocks of an old wall extend to north and south on
either side of the socle but the precise relationship between the wall and the
cross is unknown. The modern garden wall to the west of the socle, the modern
road surface to the east, a lamp post/give-way sign and the stay of a
telegraph pole are excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath these
features is included.

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

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 missing its cross shaft and head, the Howbrook cross is a good
example of an in situ wayside cross associated with an ancient crossroads.

Source: Historic England


Hill, Angela Shackleton, (1994)
PI 159,

Source: Historic England

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