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Churchyard cross 10m south of Bondleigh church

A Scheduled Monument in Bondleigh, Devon

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.8272 / 50°49'38"N

Longitude: -3.9165 / 3°54'59"W

OS Eastings: 265115.942618

OS Northings: 104827.171348

OS Grid: SS651048

Mapcode National: GBR KX.XCMS

Mapcode Global: FRA 26PX.80D

Entry Name: Churchyard cross 10m south of Bondleigh church

Scheduled Date: 12 December 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013740

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27314

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Bondleigh

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Bondleigh St James the Apostle

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

Details

This monument includes a churchyard cross standing 10m south of Bondleigh
church. It includes a socket stone and shaft of a type found throughout Devon
and thought to date to the 14th to 15th centuries.
The socket stone is probably square at the base although it is firmly embedded
in the ground and only the upper part is clearly visible. There are four
corner shoulders, three of which are clearly visible and the fourth is covered
with grass. The base of the stone measures 0.9m square. The top of the socket
stone is cut to form an octagon with chamfered edges and it has a diameter of
0.88m. The visible part of the socket stone is 0.27m high.
The shaft is square at the base and measures 0.25m wide. It tapers upwards
and is 0.21m wide at the top. The shaft is octagonal above three corner
stops. The fourth stop is missing because the shaft has an old break at this
point. The shaft is 1.5m high and is roughly broken at the top.
The cross is Listed Grade II.

MAP EXTRACT
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.

The churchyard cross 10m south of Bondleigh church appears to be in its
original position and is in good condition.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Masson Phillips, E M, 'Transactions of the Devonshire Association' in The Ancient Stone Crosses of Devon, Part 2, , Vol. 70, (1938), 309
Other
Devon County Sites and monuments Register, SS60SE-002, (1982)
MPP fieldwork by H. Gerrard, (1994)

Source: Historic England

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