Ancient Monuments

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Wayside cross known as the Cundy Cross

A Scheduled Monument in Wortley, Barnsley

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Latitude: 53.4742 / 53°28'27"N

Longitude: -1.5331 / 1°31'59"W

OS Eastings: 431083.738

OS Northings: 397601.0835

OS Grid: SK310976

Mapcode National: GBR KXQ8.W9

Mapcode Global: WHCBY.FX5Z

Entry Name: Wayside cross known as the Cundy Cross

Scheduled Date: 1 May 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011758

English Heritage Legacy ID: 23392

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 wayside cross and includes the socle or
socket stone of the cross. Originally there would also have been a shaft and
cross head but these components are now missing.
The socle is a dressed sandstone block measuring approximately 70cm square by
70cm high. In the top is a rectangular socket hole measuring 20cm by 16cm by
10cm deep. On the north side, a channel leads from the edge of the socle to
the socket hole. The purpose of this channel is unclear but it may have been
used to run lead round the base of the cross shaft. In addition, there are
circular holes on either side of the channel but the function of these is also
unclear. The cross is called the Cundy Cross after the curate Edward Cundy who
died in 1623. It is likely to be earlier than this date, however, and is
probably medieval in origin. It stands at the junction of Wortley Bank,
Woodhead Road and a track leading north west from the crossroads in the
direction of Finkle Street. It may originally have stood at the centre of the
crossroads or may, alternatively, be in its original location since it is
deeply embedded in the surrounding grass bank. The monument is also Listed
Grade II.

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 Cundy Cross is a good example
of a probable medieval wayside cross associated with an ancient crossroads.

Source: Historic England


Hill, Angela Shackleton, (1994)
PI 156,

Source: Historic England

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