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Ewerby village cross

A Scheduled Monument in Ewerby and Evedon, Lincolnshire

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Latitude: 53.0112 / 53°0'40"N

Longitude: -0.3304 / 0°19'49"W

OS Eastings: 512111.008699

OS Northings: 347286.180625

OS Grid: TF121472

Mapcode National: GBR GS1.78X

Mapcode Global: WHGK7.WKTY

Entry Name: Ewerby village cross

Scheduled Date: 28 September 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012353

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22634

County: Lincolnshire

Civil Parish: Ewerby and Evedon

Built-Up Area: Ewerby

Traditional County: Lincolnshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire

Church of England Parish: Ewerby St Andrew

Church of England Diocese: Lincoln


The monument includes Ewerby village cross, a standing stone cross located in
the south west corner of the village green. The cross is of stepped form and
is medieval and later in date. The monument includes the base, comprised of
seven steps and a socket-stone, and the shaft.

The base includes seven steps, all circular in plan and principally
constructed of limestone blocks. The lowest step is partially submerged by
rising ground on the east side of the monument, but is visible on the west.
The cross can thus be seen to occupy a circular area roughly 4.5m in
diameter. All three lower steps are medieval in date with 19th- and
20th-century alterations. The four upper steps are entirely modern and date
from the a 19th-century restoration. On the uppermost step rests the
socket-stone, a large square slab with moulded and chamfered corners. There is
a small cross inscribed into the western face of the socket-stone, dating from
the 19th-century restoration. Set into the middle of the socket-stone is the
shaft, a modern addition, square in section at the base with chamfered corners
tapering upwards in octagonal section, and terminating in a simple chamfered
octagonal top. The full height of the cross is approximately 4m.
This cross is Listed Grade II.
The modern paving on the south west side of the cross is excluded from the
scheduling although the ground beneath it is included.

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.

Ewerby village cross is a good example of the circular stepped base of a
medieval standing cross. Situated on the village green, it is believed to
stand in or near its original position. Limited development of the area
immediately surrounding the cross indicates that archaeological deposits
relating to the monument's construction and use in this location are likely to
survive intact.
While parts of the cross have survived since medieval times, subsequent
restoration has resulted in its continued use as a public monument and

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Pevsner, N, Harris, J, Antram, N, The Buildings of England: Lincolnshire, (1989), 525
Davies, D S, 'Lincolnshire Notes and Queries' in Ancient Stone Crosses in Kesteven, , Vol. XII no.5, (1913), 140
letter, Gostick, Les, A sad fate for cross, (1990)
Listed Building Description, Department of the Environment, Village Cross II, (1967)

Source: Historic England

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