Ancient Monuments

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Allington village cross

A Scheduled Monument in Allington, Lincolnshire

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Latitude: 52.9525 / 52°57'9"N

Longitude: -0.7261 / 0°43'34"W

OS Eastings: 485680.432234

OS Northings: 340218.553464

OS Grid: SK856402

Mapcode National: GBR CN3.WRW

Mapcode Global: WHFJ9.T1DV

Entry Name: Allington village cross

Scheduled Date: 17 October 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012412

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22658

County: Lincolnshire

Civil Parish: Allington

Built-Up Area: Allington

Traditional County: Lincolnshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire

Church of England Parish: West Allington Holy Trinity

Church of England Diocese: Lincoln


The monument includes Allington village cross, a standing stone cross located
on the village green to the east of the church. The cross is of stepped form
and is principally constructed of limestone. It is medieval in origin and was
rebuilt in the later 19th century. The monument includes the foundation,
base, comprising three steps and a socket-stone, the shaft, knop and head.

The foundation includes a platform of concrete slabs up to 0.3m in height and
covering an area approximately 3.3m square. The base includes three steps,
the lowest approximately 2.15m square, the second 1.5m square and the third
0.88m square; all three are chamfered. On the top step stands the
socket-stone, composed of two slabs: the lower is 0.6m square in section at
the base rising in octagonal section through chamfered corners; the upper is
also octagonal in section and is moulded above into the shaft-base. The full
height of the socket-stone is about 0.6m. Set into the middle of the
socket-stone is the shaft, composed of five stones of tapering octagonal
section. The knop is of octagonal section, and the head takes the form of a
simple crucifix. The knop and lower part of the shaft are 19th century in
date, while the head and upper part of the shaft are 20th century in date. The
full height of the cross is nearly 4m.

The cross is Listed Grade II. The concrete foundations for benches which
adjoin the cross on the north east and south east sides are not included in
the scheduling although the ground beneath them 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.

Allington village cross is a good example of the remains of a village cross
which has continued in use as a monument from medieval times to the present
day. The form of the medieval cross is well understood through documentary
sources, and its post-medieval successor is believed to stand on the same
site. Minimal development of the area immediately surrounding the cross
indicates that archaeological deposits relating to the monument's construction
and use are likely to survive intact.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Nattes, J C, Allington Cross, (1805)
White, W, History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Lincolnshire, (1856)
Davies, D S, 'Lincolnshire Notes and Queries' in Ancient Stone Crosses in Kesteven, , Vol. XII no.5, (1913), 132

Source: Historic England

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