Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Wayside and boundary cross on the south side of Elliott Lane

A Scheduled Monument in Ecclesfield, Sheffield

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Latitude: 53.4504 / 53°27'1"N

Longitude: -1.482 / 1°28'55"W

OS Eastings: 434498.574597

OS Northings: 394968.840223

OS Grid: SK344949

Mapcode National: GBR LX2J.YV

Mapcode Global: WHDD9.6JKR

Entry Name: Wayside and boundary cross on the south side of Elliott Lane

Scheduled Date: 6 September 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012928

English Heritage Legacy ID: 23390

County: Sheffield

Civil Parish: Ecclesfield

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): South Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Grenoside St Mark

Church of England Diocese: Sheffield


The monument is a medieval wayside or boundary cross currently incorporated in
a niche in the drystone wall bounding the south side of Elliott Lane. It
includes the socle or socket stone of the cross and the cross shaft. Because
the top of the shaft is currently obscured by a large capstone, it is not
clear whether it is complete or whether it is broken. It may originally have
included a cross head but, if so, this component is now missing.
The socle comprises a tapering sandstone block measuring 75cm tall and roughly
75cm square. On the north face it has been decorated with an incised Latin
cross, the date 1470 and the copperplate initials `CH'. These are all crisp
and well-defined and were probably added in the 19th or early 20th century.
Above the socle is the shaft which is 52cm tall, has chamfered corners and is
approximately 20cm square. The exact function of the cross is not clear but it
may have marked the boundary of nearby Ecclesfield priory.
The modern road surface lying within the area of the monument is excluded from
the scheduling though the ground underneath is included. The drystone wall is
not excluded, however, as works to it will affect the cross.

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

Wayside crosses are one of several types of Christian cross erected during the
medieval period, mostly from the 9th to 15th centuries AD. In addition to
serving the function of reiterating and reinforcing the Christian faith
amongst those who passed the cross and of reassuring the traveller, wayside
crosses often fulfilled a role as waymarkers, especially in difficult and
otherwise unmarked terrain. The crosses might be on regularly used routes
linking ordinary settlements or on routes having a more specifically religious
function, including those providing access to religious sites for parishioners
and funeral processions, or marking long-distance routes frequented on
Over 350 wayside crosses are known nationally, concentrated in south west
England throughout Cornwall and on Dartmoor where they form the commonest type
of stone cross. A small group also occurs on the North York Moors. Relatively
few examples have been recorded elsewhere and these are generally confined to
remote moorland locations.
Outside Cornwall almost all wayside crosses take the form of a `Latin' cross,
in which the cross-head itself is shaped within the projecting arms of an
unenclosed cross. In Cornwall wayside crosses vary considerably in form and
decoration. The commonest type includes a round, or `wheel', head on the faces
of which various forms of cross or related designs were carved in relief or
incised, the spaces between the cross arms possibly pierced. The design was
sometimes supplemented with a relief figure of Christ and the shaft might bear
decorative panels and motifs. Less common forms in Cornwall include the
`Latin' cross and, much rarer, the simple slab with a low relief cross on both
faces. Rare examples of wheel-head and slab-form crosses also occur within the
North York Moors group. Most wayside crosses have either a simple socketed
base or show no evidence for a separate base at all.
Wayside crosses contribute significantly to our understanding of medieval
religious customs and sculptural traditions and to our knowledge of medieval
routeways and settlement patterns. All wayside crosses which survive as earth-
fast monuments, except those which are extremely damaged and removed from
their original locations, are considered worthy of protection.

Although possibly not complete, the cross on Elliott Lane is a well-preserved
example believed to be in or near its original location.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Smith, D T, 'Transactions of the Hunter Archaeological Society' in , , Vol. 2, (1924), 176
Hill, Angela Shackleton, (1994)

Source: Historic England

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