Ancient Monuments

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Village Cross

A Scheduled Monument in Barrow upon Humber, North Lincolnshire

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Latitude: 53.6753 / 53°40'31"N

Longitude: -0.3806 / 0°22'49"W

OS Eastings: 507074.037823

OS Northings: 421086.766046

OS Grid: TA070210

Mapcode National: GBR TTSY.D7

Mapcode Global: WHGFY.4W1B

Entry Name: Village Cross

Scheduled Date: 11 November 1946

Last Amended: 12 February 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014003

English Heritage Legacy ID: 26571

County: North Lincolnshire

Civil Parish: Barrow upon Humber

Built-Up Area: Barrow upon Humber

Traditional County: Lincolnshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire

Church of England Parish: Barrow-upon-Humber Holy Trinity

Church of England Diocese: Lincoln


The monument includes the remains of a medieval stone cross shaft and base,
situated in the centre of the village of Barrow upon Humber. It stands
adjacent to the corner of a road junction, in a modern car park that was
clearly once the village green.
The cross shaft survives to a total height of 2.2m, base and shaft combined,
but lacks the upper part of the shaft and the cross head. The cross shaft
itself, which is very worn and weathered, stands 0.87m high and 0.38m square,
and is set into a square socket within two tiers of stone approximately
0.65m square. There is a deep groove running down the western side of the
cross shaft, about 3cm wide.
The cross shaft and two tiers of stone are set upon a broad stone base 1.95m
square and 0.5m high, and the whole has been stabilised by a modern concrete
setting 2.45m square and 10cm high. Modern lead strips have been inset into
the junction of the stone tiers to consolidate and stabilise the whole
The south west corner of the monument lies upon the edge of the road junction,
and where it impinges on the road, the modern road surface is excluded from
the scheduling, although the ground beneath it is included.

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.

Although consolidated and restored at different periods of time, and lacking
its cross head, the Barrow upon Humber cross survives in moderate condition.
It is located in its original position in the centre of the village and has
important local historical significance.

Source: Historic England


Currie, Dr E.J., MPPA Site Visit, (1995)

Source: Historic England

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