Ancient Monuments

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Standing cross known as Bottom Cross

A Scheduled Monument in Linby, Nottinghamshire

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Latitude: 53.0548 / 53°3'17"N

Longitude: -1.2017 / 1°12'6"W

OS Eastings: 453601.375002

OS Northings: 351133.281

OS Grid: SK536511

Mapcode National: GBR 8GB.H0K

Mapcode Global: WHDGC.HGZZ

Entry Name: Standing cross known as Bottom Cross

Scheduled Date: 4 June 1952

Last Amended: 9 August 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012925

English Heritage Legacy ID: 23370

County: Nottinghamshire

Civil Parish: Linby

Built-Up Area: Hucknall

Traditional County: Nottinghamshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Nottinghamshire

Church of England Parish: Linby with Papplewick

Church of England Diocese: Southwell and Nottingham


The monument includes the remains of the standing cross located on the eastern
or `bottom' green at Linby. A second cross known as the Top Cross, the subject
of a separate scheduling, is located on the western or `top' green. The
remains of the Bottom Cross comprise a stepped base, socket stone and shaft
surmounted by a capital and cross head which have been dated on stylistic
grounds to the late-17th century.
The base or calvary of the cross consists of five square steps rising to a
height of c.1.75m. Each step is constructed of a double layer of pavings
except for the bottom step which has a layer of pavings overlying a layer of
blocks. This bottom step has an overall area of c.3.5m square. The socket
stone or socle is c.80cm wide and c.40cm thick. It is octagonal with pyramid
stops on alternate faces and appears either to consist of two sections
sandwiched together or to have included a transverse line of decorative
moulding which has been removed. The shaft is of roughly square section and
has chamfered edges which splay out at the bottom to create a narrow square
pedestal. It tapers slightly towards the square moulded capital which is
surmounted by a simple cross head with a plain raised cross on each face and
splayed arms with moulded terminals. Together, the shaft, capital and cross
head are c.2.5m tall.
It is not entirely clear whether all the components of the Bottom Cross are of
the same period. The date 1663 is inscribed on the east face of the capital
and is understood to be a relatively recent recut of the same date previously
noted on the west face but now too faint to see from ground level. This date
suggests that the capital and cross head were erected during the relaxation of
religious iconoclasm in England following the Restoration of Charles II. The
base, however, is little different in construction and state of wear from that
of the Top Cross and may be of a similar late medieval or early post-medieval
date. In addition, the shaft is much more worn than the capital and cross head
and may also date to an earlier period. This suggests that either of the two
crosses may be that recorded in a perambulation of 1505 as marking the
boundary of Sherwood Forest. It should also be noted that the cross is built
on a rock from which a spring emerges. This juxtaposition also suggests a
medieval origin for the cross. The spring currently runs through a modern
culvert which, where it lies within the area of scheduling, is not excluded
from the scheduling as works to it will disturb archaeological remains
relating to the cross. The surrounding fence is excluded from the scheduling,
however, though the ground underneath is included. The cross is Listed Grade

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.

Linby Bottom Cross is a well preserved and visually impressive example of a
later standing cross which is still in its original location and retains all
its components though these are not necessarily all of the same date. Its
location on a spring outlet is of added interest and shows that, when
constructed, it played an important role in religious festivals and other
aspects of village life and may also have served as a boundary cross. Its
importance is increased by its relationship to Linby Top Cross, located at the
opposite end of the village.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Williamson, E, The Buildings of England: Nottinghamshire, (1979), 165
Shackleton Hill, Angela, (1994)
Stapleton, A., New Notes on Nottinghamshire Crosses, 1911,
Stapleton, A., Notes on Nottinghamshire Crosses, 1903,

Source: Historic England

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