Ancient Monuments

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Market cross

A Scheduled Monument in Bawtry, Doncaster

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Latitude: 53.4291 / 53°25'44"N

Longitude: -1.0214 / 1°1'16"W

OS Eastings: 465119.58825

OS Northings: 392925.365336

OS Grid: SK651929

Mapcode National: GBR PX9S.NH

Mapcode Global: WHFFV.82WH

Entry Name: Market cross

Scheduled Date: 27 February 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012154

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27201

County: Doncaster

Civil Parish: Bawtry

Built-Up Area: Bawtry

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): South Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Bawtry with Austerfield

Church of England Diocese: Southwell and Nottingham


The monument is a late medieval or early post-medieval market cross located at
the south end of the market place in Bawtry. It includes a calvary or stepped
base of four magnesian limestone steps surmounted by a Classical style obelisk
of probable 18th century date.
The obelisk is approximately 4m high and comprises a 1m high rectangular base
with a pedestal and capital, above which is a tapering octagonal shaft which
is reputed to have been used as a lamp standard at some stage though this is
no longer the case. The obelisk will have replaced an earlier cross which is
now missing. The calvary measures approximately 2.5m square and rises 0.9m and
appears to have had decorative stops at the corners of the bottom step though
these are now very worn. The cross is Listed Grade II and is known locally as
the Butter Cross which may indicate that it originally had a canopy rather
than a simple shaft and cross head. The modern asphalt surface surrounding
the cross is excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath it is

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, the base of Bawtry market cross is a
well preserved example whose importance is enhanced by its survival in its
original location where it will preserve the medieval land surface underneath.

Source: Historic England


On EH file, Shackleton Hill, Angela, Market Cros, Bawtry, (1994)
South Yorkshire SMR, PI 238, Market Cros, Bawtry,

Source: Historic England

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