Ancient Monuments

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Churchyard cross, St Edith's churchyard

A Scheduled Monument in Anwick, Lincolnshire

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Latitude: 53.0413 / 53°2'28"N

Longitude: -0.3391 / 0°20'20"W

OS Eastings: 511455.329055

OS Northings: 350627.746313

OS Grid: TF114506

Mapcode National: GBR GRM.C2Y

Mapcode Global: WHGK1.RTQB

Entry Name: Churchyard cross, St Edith's churchyard

Scheduled Date: 28 September 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011797

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22636

County: Lincolnshire

Civil Parish: Anwick

Built-Up Area: Anwick

Traditional County: Lincolnshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire

Church of England Parish: Anwick St Edith

Church of England Diocese: Lincoln


The monument includes a medieval churchyard cross located in the churchyard of
St Edith's Church, Anwick, approximately 2m south of the south east corner of
the south porch. The monument includes the base and shaft.

The base of the cross takes the form of a large block of masonry approximately
0.88m square and up to 0.25m high. It is composed of two courses, the lower a
single large slab, and the upper a series of smaller slabs with chamfered
edges. The upper course is built around the bottom of the shaft which is of
simple rectangular section. Above the base the shaft reaches a circumference
of 1.3m and then tapers slightly upwards; it is moulded in the form of eight
shafts of semicircular section alternating with eight fillets of triangular
section. The total height of the shaft above the base is about 1.07m. The
shaft terminates in a rounded and chamfered top with a rounded protrusion
containing the stub of an iron rod. The stone may thus be seen to represent
the entire lower portion of the original shaft, an upper stone formerly
fitting into the top of it.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 1 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

A standing cross is a free standing upright structure, usually of stone,
mostly erected during the medieval period (mid 10th to mid 16th centuries AD).
Standing crosses served a variety of functions. In churchyards they served as
stations for outdoor processions, particularly in the observance of Palm
Sunday. Elsewhere, standing crosses were used within settlements as places for
preaching, public proclamation and penance, as well as defining rights of
sanctuary. Standing crosses were also employed to mark boundaries between
parishes, property, or settlements. A few crosses were erected to commemorate
battles. Some crosses were linked to particular saints, whose support and
protection their presence would have helped to invoke. Crosses in market
places may have helped to validate transactions. After the Reformation, some
crosses continued in use as foci for municipal or borough ceremonies, for
example as places for official proclamations and announcements; some were the
scenes of games or recreational activity.
Standing crosses were distributed throughout England and are thought to have
numbered in excess of 12,000. However, their survival since the Reformation
has been variable, being much affected by local conditions, attitudes and
religious sentiment. In particular, many cross-heads were destroyed by
iconoclasts during the 16th and 17th centuries. Less than 2,000 medieval
standing crosses, with or without cross-heads, are now thought to exist. The
oldest and most basic form of standing cross is the monolith, a stone shaft
often set directly in the ground without a base. The most common form is the
stepped cross, in which the shaft is set in a socket stone and raised upon a
flight of steps; this type of cross remained current from the 11th to 12th
centuries until after the Reformation. Where the cross-head survives it may
take a variety of forms, from a lantern-like structure to a crucifix; the more
elaborate examples date from the 15th century. Much less common than stepped
crosses are spire-shaped crosses, often composed of three or four receding
stages with elaborate architectural decoration and/or sculptured figures; the
most famous of these include the Eleanor crosses, erected by Edward I at the
stopping places of the funeral cortege of his wife, who died in 1290. Also
uncommon are the preaching crosses which were built in public places from the
13th century, typically in the cemeteries of religious communities and
cathedrals, market places and wide thoroughfares; they include a stepped base,
buttresses supporting a vaulted canopy, in turn carrying either a shaft and
head or a pinnacled spire. Standing crosses contribute significantly to our
understanding of medieval customs, both secular and religious, and to our
knowledge of medieval parishes and settlement patterns. All crosses which
survive as standing monuments, especially those which stand in or near their
original location, are considered worthy of protection.

The churchyard cross at Anwick is a good example of the remains of a medieval
standing cross with a quadrangular base and unusual moulded shaft. Situated
near the south porch, it is believed to stand in or near its original
position. Limited disturbance of the area immediately surrounding the cross
indicates that archaeological deposits relating to the monument's construction
and use are likely to survive intact. The cross has not been restored and has
continued in use as a public monument and amenity from medieval times to the
present day.

Source: Historic England

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