Ancient Monuments

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Village cross

A Scheduled Monument in Atwick, East Riding of Yorkshire

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Latitude: 53.9405 / 53°56'25"N

Longitude: -0.1877 / 0°11'15"W

OS Eastings: 519058.050346

OS Northings: 450891.425508

OS Grid: TA190508

Mapcode National: GBR WQ4W.46

Mapcode Global: WHHG0.27W0

Entry Name: Village cross

Scheduled Date: 24 May 1951

Last Amended: 8 November 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013622

English Heritage Legacy ID: 26516

County: East Riding of Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Atwick

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Riding of Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Atwick St Lawrence

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes the medieval village cross at Atwick, situated on a
small triangular green in the centre of the village at the junction of cross
The monument comprises a chamfered and panelled shaft of about 0.35m square
and 2m in height set into a limestone square socketed base which has a sunk
rectangular panel measuring 0.25m by 0.5m on each side. The upper part of the
cross shaft is octagonal and there are the remains of a now illegible
inscription just above the panel. The base, which measures 8m by 6m, is set on
three stone steps which have been repaired with modern cobbles. The monument
has a total height of around 3m.
Given the integral nature of the cross shaft and base with three steps, all
features, including the modern cobble-patched stone steps, are included in the
scheduling. The cross lies adjacent to a modern paved road at its east, the
surface of which is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath
it is included.
The cross is also Listed Grade II.

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.

Although missing the cross head, the Atwick village cross survives in good
condition and is located in its original position in the centre of the

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Poulson, , History of Holderness, (1840), 173-174
Wildridge, T T, Holderness and Hullshire, (1886), 35-36
Bastow, M E, AM 107, (1985)
Bastow, M E, AM107, (1990)
Bastow, M E, AM107, (1993)
Humberside SMR, Sites and Monuments Records Sheet, (1994)
Walker J, AM12, (1980)

Source: Historic England

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