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The Longstone, a part of a cross shaft on Longstone Lane at the junction with Shay's Lane

A Scheduled Monument in Little Budworth, Cheshire West and Chester

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.2046 / 53°12'16"N

Longitude: -2.6164 / 2°36'58"W

OS Eastings: 358926.283614

OS Northings: 367685.696051

OS Grid: SJ589676

Mapcode National: GBR 7P.20Z7

Mapcode Global: WH99H.SQ93

Entry Name: The Longstone, a part of a cross shaft on Longstone Lane at the junction with Shay's Lane

Scheduled Date: 13 October 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013475

English Heritage Legacy ID: 25696

County: Cheshire West and Chester

Civil Parish: Little Budworth

Traditional County: Cheshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cheshire

Church of England Parish: Whitegate St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Chester

Details

The monument includes a cross shaft fragment set on a modern sandstone base on
a concrete plinth. It is situated on the south side of the road known as
Longstone Lane where it meets Shay's Lane. The name of the lane indicates that
the cross is in its original position as a wayside marker.
The shaft is of red sandstone and is 0.32m wide at the base and 0.3m deep. It
stands 0.49m high from the base. The north edge faces the road and is broken
away at a point 0.2m from the base to make it only 0.1m thick above the
break. The whole is worn to rounded edges on all sides.
The base is composed of three stones placed so as to form a base 0.98m wide on
the north side and 0.5m deep. This is mounted on a concrete plinth to make a
stepped base rising from 1.4m wide on the side facing the road.
The site of the cross is on the medieval road and later coach road which led
to Vale Royal Abbey. There is another cross base 700m west called the Headless
Cross, a cross base 400m WNW also on Longstone Lane and a cross base at
Whitegates beside this road and as a group they point to a set of waymarkers
skirting the Abbots Moss and taking the medieval traveller to the abbey. This
cross is also on the boundary between the parishes of Whitegate and Marton and
Little Budworth. It is Listed Grade II.
The surface of the road beside the monument is excluded from the scheduling,
although the ground beneath it is included.

MAP EXTRACT
The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

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
pilgrimages.
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.

The wayside cross known as the Longstone survives in its original position
beside the medieval road which led to Vale Royal Abbey. Although only a
fragment of the cross shaft survives and it is set on a modern base it is one
of a group of four existing wayside crosses along the routes into the Abbey.
Very few such crosses survive in Cheshire.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
(1994)
Title: Map of Cheshire
Source Date: 1831
Author:
Publisher:
Surveyor:

Source: Historic England

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