Ancient Monuments

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Wayside cross known as Hudscott Cross at Winson Cross

A Scheduled Monument in Chittlehampton, Devon

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Latitude: 51.0085 / 51°0'30"N

Longitude: -3.9341 / 3°56'2"W

OS Eastings: 264406.686839

OS Northings: 125019.474614

OS Grid: SS644250

Mapcode National: GBR KX.JM6G

Mapcode Global: FRA 26NG.14L

Entry Name: Wayside cross known as Hudscott Cross at Winson Cross

Scheduled Date: 12 March 1953

Last Amended: 15 November 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013725

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27326

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Chittlehampton

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Chittlehampton with Umberleigh

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


This monument includes a wayside cross, formerly a churchyard cross, situated
at Winson Cross, a junction between the B3227 and an unclassified road to
Chittlehampton. The cross is thought to have come from the churchyard at
Chittlehampton, where the original socket stone remains. The cross was erected
in this position by the Rolle family, who also constructed the tall octagonal
masonry pedestal onto which the cross was placed.
The cross is known locally as the Hudscott Cross, and it is thought to be
late medieval. It is a granite Latin cross which has an incised Latin cross on
the western face between the arms, and an incised rectangular recess on the
eastern face. The shaft is square at the base, approximately 0.42m thick and
tapers upwards. Beneath the arms is a collar which is 0.32m thick. The arms
are approximately 0.56m wide, the width of the head is some 0.3m and the cross
is 1.9m high. The cross-shaped recess is 0.05m wide at the base, 0.2m wide at
the arms, 0.3m long and 0.02m deep.
The pedestal is octagonal in shape. The base is constructed of local
stone, measures 2m in diameter by 1.1m high and has three steps. Above is an
octagonal plinth of white stone which is 1.5m high. Over the plinth is a wood,
slate and lead lined sloping roof-like structure which protects the plinth
from the weather. The ancient cross is set into this structure. The whole
pedestal has been repaired by Devon County Council Highways Department. The
cross is Listed Grade II.

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.

Hudscott Cross is not in its original position, but it survives well as a fine
example of its class. The circumstances of its removal and the location from
which it was taken, are all well documented.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Masson Phillips, E M, 'Transactions of the Devonshire Association' in The Ancient Stone Crosses of Devon, Part 2, , Vol. 70, (1938), 311
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SS62NW-018, (1982)
MPP fieldwork by H. Gerrard, (1994)

Source: Historic England

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