Ancient Monuments

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Cross located on the former village green

A Scheduled Monument in Thrybergh, Rotherham

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Latitude: 53.4539 / 53°27'14"N

Longitude: -1.296 / 1°17'45"W

OS Eastings: 446843.139431

OS Northings: 395472.769315

OS Grid: SK468954

Mapcode National: GBR MXDH.6L

Mapcode Global: WHDDD.2F3Z

Entry Name: Cross located on the former village green

Scheduled Date: 9 October 1981

Last Amended: 11 September 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012930

English Heritage Legacy ID: 23399

County: Rotherham

Civil Parish: Thrybergh

Built-Up Area: Rotherham

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): South Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Thrybergh St Leonard

Church of England Diocese: Sheffield


The monument is the shaft of a freestanding cross located on the former
village green in Thrybergh. Originally there would also have been a cross head
but this component is now missing.
The gritstone shaft is of slightly tapering rectangular section, measuring
c.30cm by 20cm and standing c.1.1m high. The top is shouldered and bevelled
and includes four peg-holes into which the cross head would have been fixed.
The corners of the shaft are chamfered and include moulded nodules at regular
intervals along their length. These mouldings frame carved panels on the east
and west faces of the cross but the narrower north and south faces are
apparently undecorated. The decoration on the west face comprises a so-called
Tree of Life carved in relief and consisting of a central stem with foliage
branching off at right-angles. This style of decoration was common in the
Anglian period and may indicate a pre-Conquest origin for the cross or,
alternatively, Anglian influence on post-Conquest art forms. On the east face
of the shaft can be seen faint traces of an incised sword which clearly
possesses a broad blade and appears also to have a hogsback pommel. The
setting of the cross on the former village green suggests a processional or
liturgical use during the Middle Ages. The modern paved surface surrounding
the cross is excluded from the scheduling though the ground underneath is

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.

Though missing its head, the cross on the former village green at Thrybergh is
a reasonably well-preserved example believed to be approximately in its
original location. Its importance is enhanced by the unusual form of its
carved decoration.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
'Transactions of the Hunter Archaeological Society' in Transactions of the Hunter Archaeological Society, , Vol. 5, (1943), 50
Collingwood, W G, 'Yorkshire Archaeological Journal' in Anglian and Anglo-Danish Sculpture, , Vol. 23, (1915), 250
Ryder, P F, 'County Archaeological Monograph No.2' in Saxon Churches in South Yorkshire, (1982), 120-121
Ryder, P F, 'County Archaeological Monograph No.2' in Saxon Churches in South Yorkshire, (1982), 120-121
Shackleton Hill, Angela, (1994)

Source: Historic England

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