Ancient Monuments

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Standing cross on Upper Broughton village green

A Scheduled Monument in Upper Broughton, Nottinghamshire

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Latitude: 52.828 / 52°49'40"N

Longitude: -0.9907 / 0°59'26"W

OS Eastings: 468102.6875

OS Northings: 326084.5625

OS Grid: SK681260

Mapcode National: GBR 9LN.NCM

Mapcode Global: WHFJR.R5FT

Entry Name: Standing cross on Upper Broughton village green

Scheduled Date: 10 May 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011846

English Heritage Legacy ID: 23367

County: Nottinghamshire

Civil Parish: Upper Broughton

Built-Up Area: Upper Broughton

Traditional County: Nottinghamshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Nottinghamshire

Church of England Parish: Broughton Sulney

Church of England Diocese: Southwell and Nottingham


The monument includes the remains of the medieval standing cross located on
the village green in Upper Broughton. The remains comprise a base of two steps
beneath a moulded pedestal and square socket stone surmounted by the lower
portion of a square sectioned shaft. Originally the shaft would have been at
least twice its present height and would have been surmounted by a carved
cross head but these items are now missing, possibly due to post-medieval
The stepped base or calvary rises to c.70cm and covers an area of c.2m square.
It consists of a number of eroded limestone blocks which were clearly stapled
together at one time though the staples are now missing. Currently they are
mortared. The 20cm wide pedestal is also constructed of several separate
pieces of stone and has a diamond cut profile. At its widest it is c.85cm
The socket stone or socle is a single block measuring c.75cm square by c.40cm
high. It is not clear whether the top corners were originally chamfered or
whether this effect is due to erosion. Near each corner on the upper surface
of the socle is a round depression measuring c.2cm wide by 1cm deep. It is not
certain what these represent though it is possible they were the housings for
a protective iron fence such as has been added to other crosses in the recent
past. This may also account for the hole driven through the top of the shaft
which is also not an original feature. The surviving portion of the shaft is
c.80cm tall and has a maximum width at the base of 25cm by 20cm. It has
rounded chamfered corners and appears to have tapered slightly towards the
top. All four faces of the shaft bear a simple incised panel which suggests
that there may originally have been some form of surface decoration though
this is no longer obvious. The cross is Listed Grade II.

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

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.

Although not complete, the cross in Upper Broughton is a reasonably well
preserved example of a medieval standing cross which would have played an
important role in religious festivals and other aspects of medieval village

Source: Historic England


Shackleton Hill, Angela, (1994)
Stapleton, A., (1912)

Source: Historic England

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