Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Market cross

A Scheduled Monument in Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »
Street or Overhead View
Contributor Photos »

If Google Street View is available, the image is from the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the monument. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.

Coordinates

Latitude: 53.3232 / 53°19'23"N

Longitude: -1.9157 / 1°54'56"W

OS Eastings: 405708.424017

OS Northings: 380703.407762

OS Grid: SK057807

Mapcode National: GBR HZ20.1F

Mapcode Global: WHBBD.JQYQ

Entry Name: Market cross

Scheduled Date: 26 November 1963

Last Amended: 16 May 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012877

English Heritage Legacy ID: 23385

County: Derbyshire

Civil Parish: Chapel-en-le-Frith

Built-Up Area: Chapel-en-le-Frith

Traditional County: Derbyshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Derbyshire

Church of England Parish: Chapel-en-le-Frith St Thomas a Becket

Church of England Diocese: Derby

Details

The monument is a late medieval or early post-medieval market cross located on
the south side of the market place in Chapel en le Frith. It is constructed of
gritstone and comprises a stepped base or calvary of four steps rising to a
roughly octagonal socle or socket stone surmounted by a tapering octagonal
shaft. At the top of the shaft is a Latin-style cross head which appears,
formerly, to have had an additional feature projecting from the top. This
feature is now missing and it is not clear what it may have been. The cross is
undecorated but for roll-mouldings on the terminals of the cross arms and on
the east and west faces of the cross head. In addition, the socle has sloping
chamfered corners so that the base is square rather than octagonal and
measures c.50cm on each side. The shaft is over 2m tall and c.30cm square, and
the base step has a diameter of c.2.5m. The shaft is in four sections which
have been mortared together and this, together with the fact that the cross
head is also mortared in place, suggests that the monument has been broken and
restored. In the past, a date of 1643 has been suggested for the cross but the
reason for this is unclear. In addition to being scheduled the cross is Listed
Grade II.
A number of features falling within the area of the scheduling are excluded
from the scheduling; these are the modern paved surface and railings, a lamp
post and a bollard, although the ground beneath all of these features is
included.

MAP EXTRACT
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.

Chapel en le Frith market cross is a well preserved and visually impressive
example of a later standing cross which appears to be in its original location
and retains its original components.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Bunting, W B, Chapel-en-le-Frith, (1940), 50/146
'Kelly's Directory' in Kelly's Directory, (1904)
Other
Shackleton Hill, Angela, (1994)

Source: Historic England

Other nearby scheduled monuments

AncientMonuments.uk is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact AncientMonuments.uk for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself.

AncientMonuments.uk is a Good Stuff website.