Ancient Monuments

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Cross in the churchyard of All Saints' Church

A Scheduled Monument in Hooton Pagnell, Doncaster

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Latitude: 53.5658 / 53°33'56"N

Longitude: -1.2687 / 1°16'7"W

OS Eastings: 448531.612

OS Northings: 407939.505

OS Grid: SE485079

Mapcode National: GBR MWL6.4G

Mapcode Global: WHDCT.HM2Q

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

Scheduled Date: 11 September 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012936

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27208

County: Doncaster

Civil Parish: Hooton Pagnell

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): South Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Bilham

Church of England Diocese: Sheffield


The monument is located roughly 4m south of All Saints' Church and includes
the remains of a medieval churchyard cross, which is Listed Grade II. The
remains include the socle or socket stone of the cross and an 18th or 19th
century sundial whose pillar has replaced the original cross shaft and head.
The latter were probably removed due to religious iconoclasm in the 16th or
17th century.
The medieval socle consists of a dressed octagonal magnesian limestone block
with rounded half-stops on alternate faces. It measures 35cm high and was
originally approximately 80cm square. However, on the north side the
half-stops have been cut away and replaced by a magnesian limestone slab
dressed to fit the cut edge. This slab was added to provide a step-up to the
sundial which would, otherwise, have been out of sight. It can also be seen
that the step was shaped to fit round a previously existing grave slab which
also lies to the north of the cross.
The column of the sundial comprises a roughly square-section shaft with
chamfered corners and a square pedestal and capital. In the top are the peg
holes for the missing sundial gnomen. The shaft measures 1.3m high and, in
section, measures 25cm by 28cm. These dimensions are somewhat at odds with
those of the medieval socket hole which measures 27cm by 32cm, the long axis
running from east to west. This indicates that the original medieval shaft was
more slab-like than the sundial column and probably somewhat taller. It is
unlikely that the sundial was in place prior to c.1730 because it does not
appear on two prints of the church of approximately this date, though it is
also not clear if the medieval socle is depicted either. Gravestones lying
within the area of the scheduling are not included in the scheduling. The
gravel path to the north of the cross is excluded from the scheduling,
although the ground beneath it is included.

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 missing its original cross shaft and 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 moulded socle is reasonably well preserved and
its proximity to the 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


Books and journals
Morris, J E, West Riding of Yorkshire, (1932), 271
On EH file, Shackleton Hill, Angela , Hooton Pagnell churchyard cross, (1994)
South Yorkshire SMR, PI 361, Hooton Pagnell churchyard cross,
South Yorkshire SMR, PI 361, South Yorkshire Archaeological Service, Hooton Pagnell churchyard cross, (1977)

Source: Historic England

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