Ancient Monuments

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Wayside cross known as Kirk Cross

A Scheduled Monument in Royston, Barnsley

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Latitude: 53.5914 / 53°35'29"N

Longitude: -1.4531 / 1°27'11"W

OS Eastings: 436297.346428

OS Northings: 410675.471

OS Grid: SE362106

Mapcode National: GBR LV9X.69

Mapcode Global: WHDCJ.NZ8M

Entry Name: Wayside cross known as Kirk Cross

Scheduled Date: 1 May 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011760

English Heritage Legacy ID: 23394

County: Barnsley

Electoral Ward/Division: Royston

Built-Up Area: Royston

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): South Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Royston St John the Baptist

Church of England Diocese: Leeds


The monument is the wayside cross known as Kirk Cross and is situated on the
south west corner of the junction of Kirk Cross Crescent, Royston Lane and the
B6132 road from Royston to Carlton. It includes the socle or socket stone of
the cross together with its shaft. The socle comprises a dressed stone block
measuring 90cm square at the base and standing 60cm high. The top half is
steeply chamfered to give a pyramidal effect and includes a square socket
holding the shaft. The shaft measures c.20cm square, has chamfered corners and
is 60cm high. The top of the shaft is bevelled suggesting that it may be
intact, though this is not entirely clear. The exact function of the cross is
not certain but its name suggests that it may have marked the route to church
for the medieval inhabitants of the area or may, alternatively, have marked
the boundary of church land. The cross is Listed Grade II.

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.

Kirk Cross is a good example of an intact wayside cross which appears to be in
its original location.

Source: Historic England


Hill, Angela Shackleton, (1994)
PI 288,

Source: Historic England

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