Ancient Monuments

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Wainfleet All Saints market cross

A Scheduled Monument in Wainfleet All Saints, Lincolnshire

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Latitude: 53.1068 / 53°6'24"N

Longitude: 0.2368 / 0°14'12"E

OS Eastings: 549833.025424

OS Northings: 358958.330783

OS Grid: TF498589

Mapcode National: GBR LXY.6P1

Mapcode Global: WHJMD.L5ZM

Entry Name: Wainfleet All Saints market cross

Scheduled Date: 10 December 1964

Last Amended: 10 October 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013530

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22692

County: Lincolnshire

Civil Parish: Wainfleet All Saints

Built-Up Area: Wainfleet All Saints

Traditional County: Lincolnshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire

Church of England Parish: Wainfleet All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Lincoln


The monument includes Wainfleet All Saints market cross, a Grade II* Listed
standing stone cross located on the north side of the marketplace. The cross
is of stepped form and is principally medieval in date with later additions.
The monument includes the base, consisting of three steps and a socket-stone,
the shaft, knop, head and weathervane.

The base and shaft of the cross are medieval in date and are constructed of
limestone. The base includes three steps, all approximately square in plan
and composed of rectangular mortared blocks, partially restored. On the top
steps rests the socket stone, a single block of square section with chamfered
corners. Set into the centre of the socket stone with lead is the shaft,
square in section at the base with chamfered corners tapering upwards in
octagonal section. On it rests a moulded knop, the upper part of which is
surrounded by a copper band; above it is the modern head, which takes the form
of a stone ball upon which is fixed an ornate iron weathervane. The full
height of the cross is approximately 5.7m.

The paving immediately surrounding 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 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.

Wainfleet All Saints market cross is a good example of a medieval standing
cross with a stepped base. Situated in the marketplace, it is believed to
stand in or near its original position. Limited development of the area
immediately surrounding the cross indicates that archaeological deposits
relating to the monument's construction and use in this location are likely to
survive intact. While parts of the cross survive from medieval times,
subsequent restoration has resulted in its continued function as a public
monument and amenity.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Allen, T, History of Lincolnshire, (1834), 13
Davies, D S, 'Lincolnshire Notes & Queries' in Ancient Stone Crosses in Lindsey and Holland Divisions of Lincs, , Vol. XIII no7, (1915)
TWJ, AM 7, 1956,

Source: Historic England

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