Ancient Monuments

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Wayside cross called Postgate Cross on Graystone Hills 700m NNE of Sneaton Corner

A Scheduled Monument in Fylingdales, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.4262 / 54°25'34"N

Longitude: -0.5861 / 0°35'10"W

OS Eastings: 491825.075747

OS Northings: 504342.490438

OS Grid: NZ918043

Mapcode National: GBR SKB8.W2

Mapcode Global: WHGBB.Z01L

Entry Name: Wayside cross called Postgate Cross on Graystone Hills 700m NNE of Sneaton Corner

Scheduled Date: 15 November 1934

Last Amended: 8 August 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011966

English Heritage Legacy ID: 25654

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Fylingdales

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Fylingdales St Stephen

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes the wayside cross known as Postgate Cross set up 300m
west of the A171 - the Robin Hood's Bay road. A former course of this road can
be seen as a ridge in the heather parallel to the present road and 50m west of
the monument. This was an old salters' road and at Sneaton Corner it becomes a
footpath leading south west to Lilla Howe.
The cross consists of a base made of fine yellow sandstone with a socket hole
and the broken remains of the shaft. The base block stands 0.36m high and
measures 0.74m on the north face and 0.57m on the east side. The broken shaft
stands 0.63m high and is set in the socket hole with loose stones to support
it. This has eroded the hole to an oval shape 0.39m by 0.32m where the shaft
is 0.35m wide and 0.23m deep.
The cross is of a medieval date and the shaft is original. It stands in its
original position marking the line of the Old Saltergate.

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.

The wayside cross known as Postgate Cross survives well despite the loss of
the head. It is in its original position marking an important pack horse route
used to carry fish and salt from Robin Hood's Bay across the moors towards
Pickering. It served to mark this route and remind the traveller of the
protection of Christianity, particularly of the monastery of Whitby in the
medieval period.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Hayes, R H, Old Roads and Pannierways in North East Yorkshire, (1988), 32

Source: Historic England

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