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Churchyard cross, St Mary's churchyard

A Scheduled Monument in Weston, Lincolnshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.8084 / 52°48'30"N

Longitude: -0.0843 / 0°5'3"W

OS Eastings: 529228.548641

OS Northings: 325149.710922

OS Grid: TF292251

Mapcode National: GBR JYB.X3D

Mapcode Global: WHHMG.PN2V

Entry Name: Churchyard cross, St Mary's churchyard

Scheduled Date: 2 November 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013529

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22691

County: Lincolnshire

Civil Parish: Weston

Built-Up Area: Weston

Traditional County: Lincolnshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire

Church of England Parish: Weston St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Lincoln

Details

The monument includes the remains of a Grade II Listed standing stone cross
located in the churchyard of St Mary's Church, Weston, to the south west of
the south porch. The cross is medieval in origin with modern additions. The
monument includes the base, comprising a plinth and a socket stone, the shaft,
knop and head.

The plinth takes the form of a large stone slab of rectangular section, dating
from the late 19th or early 20th century restoration of the cross. On it
stands the medieval socket stone, a limestone block of square section at the
base rising through moulded and chamfered corners to a top of octagonal
section, also chamfered. On each of the north and south faces of the
socket stone is a deep vertical groove. The shaft is square in section at
the base with moulded and chamfered corners, tapering upwards in octagonal
section. The two lower stones of the shaft, joined with mortar and iron
clamps, are medieval in date while the upper stones date from the modern
restoration. The upper part of the shaft is integral with the knop and head,
which takes the form of a plain gabled cross. The full height of the cross is
approximately 4m.

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

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.

The churchyard cross at St Mary's Church, Weston, is a good example of a
standing cross with a square socket stone and octagonal shaft. Situated on
the south side of the church it is believed to stand in or near its original
position, and archaeological deposits relating to the monument's construction
and use are likely to survive intact. While part of the cross has survived
from medieval times, the subsequent restoration of the shaft and head has
resulted in the continued function of the cross as a public monument and
amenity.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Davies, D S, 'Lincolnshire Notes & Queries' in Ancient Stone Crosses in Lindsey and Holland Divisions of Lincs, , Vol. XIII no7, (1915), 223

Source: Historic England

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