Ancient Monuments

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Churchyard cross, All Saints churchyard

A Scheduled Monument in Friskney, Lincolnshire

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Latitude: 53.0757 / 53°4'32"N

Longitude: 0.1789 / 0°10'44"E

OS Eastings: 546065.049

OS Northings: 355377.5035

OS Grid: TF460553

Mapcode National: GBR LY7.423

Mapcode Global: WHJMC.QYDH

Entry Name: Churchyard cross, All Saints churchyard

Scheduled Date: 6 November 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013531

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22693

County: Lincolnshire

Civil Parish: Friskney

Built-Up Area: Friskney

Traditional County: Lincolnshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire

Church of England Parish: Friskney All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Lincoln


The monument includes a Grade I Listed standing stone cross located in the
churchyard of All Saints Church, Friskney, to the south east of the south
porch. The cross is medieval in origin and was restored in the late 19th
century. The monument includes the base, comprising a plinth and a socket
stone, the shaft and head.

The plinth is square in section, constructed of four stone slabs resting on a
brick and stone foundation. On it stands the medieval socket stone, a
limestone block square in section at the base with chamfered corners. The
sides of the socket stone are carved with the symbols of the Four Evangelists
in deep relief: on the north face an eagle (St John), with the head at the
north west corner; on the west face a man (St Matthew), with an animal-like
body, and the head at the south west corner; on the south face a lion (St
Mark), the head on the south east corner; and on the east face an ox (St
Luke), the head on the north east corner. Set into the top of the socket stone
with concrete is the shaft, rectangular in section at the base and chamfered
above to taper upwards in octagonal section. The head takes the form of a
gabled cross carved with a representation of the Crucifixion on each main face
and a shallow, trefoil-headed niche on each of the other two sides. Both the
shaft and head were missing until 1879 when they were discovered beneath the
church floor; they were subsequently restored and re-erected on the socket
stone. The full height of the cross is nearly 4m.

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.

The churchyard cross at All Saints Church, Friskney, is a good example of a
complete medieval standing cross with a rare carved base. Situated to the
south east of the south porch 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. The restoration of the shaft and head
has resulted in the continued function of the cross as a public monument and

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Pevsner, N, Harris, J, Antram, N, The Buildings of England: Lincolnshire, (1989), 289-290
'Kelly's Directory' in Kelly's Directory, (1909), 194
Davies, D S, 'Lincolnshire Notes & Queries' in Ancient Stone Crosses in Lindsey and Holland Divisions of Lincs, , Vol. XIII no5, (1915), 146-147
TF 45 NE 6/43, Department of the Environment, Listed Building description,

Source: Historic England

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