Ancient Monuments

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Standing cross, Clowne

A Scheduled Monument in Clowne, Derbyshire

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Latitude: 53.2736 / 53°16'25"N

Longitude: -1.2644 / 1°15'51"W

OS Eastings: 449149.514914

OS Northings: 375433.557921

OS Grid: SK491754

Mapcode National: GBR MZML.16

Mapcode Global: WHDF5.KZ38

Entry Name: Standing cross, Clowne

Scheduled Date: 8 May 1956

Last Amended: 5 May 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011851

English Heritage Legacy ID: 23387

County: Derbyshire

Civil Parish: Clowne

Built-Up Area: Clowne

Traditional County: Derbyshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Derbyshire

Church of England Parish: Clowne St John the Baptist

Church of England Diocese: Derby


The monument includes the stepped base or calvary of a medieval standing cross
surmounted by an 18th century socket stone and cross shaft. The latter
have replaced the original medieval components which were probably removed
during the 16th or 17th century.
The base consists of three octagonal sandstone steps with an overall diameter
of c.2.5m and a combined height of c.0.6m. The socket stone or socle is an
octagonal sandstone block with pyramid stops on alternate faces and is
surmounted by a Tuscan style columnar shaft with rounded collars at top and
bottom and a square knop and ball finial above. A sundial is incised into the
south face of the knop but the metal gnomen has been broken off, as has the
metal cross which was formerly mounted on the ball finial. The cross stands at
the junction of High Street, Mill Street and Church Street and has an overall
height of c.3.5m. In addition to being scheduled, it is Listed Grade II*. The
surrounding modern road surface is excluded from the scheduling though the
ground underneath is included.

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

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.

Though missing its original shaft, socle and cross head, the base of the
Clowne cross is a reasonably well preserved example of a medieval calvary
still in its original location. The later components of the cross are
art-historically important in their own right.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Buckley, J A, A History of Clowne, (1977)
Mee, A, Derbyshire, (1937), 81
Hill, Angela Shackleton, (1994)

Source: Historic England

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