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Cross in the churchyard of All Saints' Church, Darfield

A Scheduled Monument in Darfield, Barnsley

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.5336 / 53°32'0"N

Longitude: -1.3697 / 1°22'10"W

OS Eastings: 441872.355001

OS Northings: 404284.736002

OS Grid: SE418042

Mapcode National: GBR LWWL.81

Mapcode Global: WHDCY.XFXY

Entry Name: Cross in the churchyard of All Saints' Church, Darfield

Scheduled Date: 18 October 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012929

English Heritage Legacy ID: 23397

County: Barnsley

Electoral Ward/Division: Darfield

Built-Up Area: Wombwell

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): South Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Darfield All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Sheffield

Details

The monument is located in All Saints' churchyard c.10m south of the church
porch. The remains include the socle or socket stone of a medieval standing
cross and the shaft of a later sundial which has replaced the medieval cross
shaft and cross head which are now missing.
The socle is an octagonal sandstone block with triangular stops on alternate
faces making the bottom half square. It has a diameter of c.75cm and is c.40cm
high. The corners of the stops are chamfered. The socket hole measures c.25cm
square and indicates that the original shaft had a bevelled square
cross-section. The current shaft is an octagonal gritstone column measuring
c.1.5m high. In the top are the pegholes for the missing sundial and gnomen.
The surface of the modern path passing through the area of the scheduling on
the east side is excluded from the scheduling though the ground underneath is
included.
The cross is Listed Grade II.

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.

Though in somewhat poor repair and missing its original shaft and cross head,
the cross in All Saints' churchyard is a good example of a simple churchyard
cross which appears to be in its original location. Its proximity to the
parish church suggests that it played an important role in religious festivals
during the Middle Ages though it may alternatively have had a sepulchral
function.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
Hill, Angela Shackleton, (1994)
South Yorks SMR (PI 372),

Source: Historic England

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