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Village cross at Aylburton

A Scheduled Monument in Aylburton, Gloucestershire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.7135 / 51°42'48"N

Longitude: -2.5554 / 2°33'19"W

OS Eastings: 361723.24456

OS Northings: 201788.552375

OS Grid: SO617017

Mapcode National: GBR JS.37WQ

Mapcode Global: VH87H.N6F8

Entry Name: Village cross at Aylburton

Scheduled Date: 9 June 1953

Last Amended: 28 June 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014406

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28516

County: Gloucestershire

Civil Parish: Aylburton

Built-Up Area: Aylburton

Traditional County: Gloucestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Gloucestershire

Church of England Parish: Woolaston St Andrew

Church of England Diocese: Gloucester

Details

The monument includes a village cross on a five step calvary, situated by the
side of the road at a road junction in the village of Aylburton.
The cross includes a five step calvary and pedestal. The first step of the
calvary is 4.25m square and 0.3m high. The other four steps rising from this
decrease in size with the top step being 1.15m square. Each step is c.0.3m
high. These five steps are composed of old weathered stone blocks cemented
together. Above this is a pedestal or capital. The capital is in the form of
four canopied niches c.2m high. The first two steps of the calvary are built
of red sandstone; the remainder of the steps and capital of grey forest stone.
The total height of the cross is c.3.6m.
The stone blocks of the calvary and the capital are early 14th century, but
the shaft and head are later. A plate of the cross depicted in Pooley's notes
published in 1868 shows the cross in the same condition as today, without
socket stone and shaft. Pooley notes that the cross was repaired about 1841.
The cross is Listed Grade II*.
Excluded from the scheduling are the flagstone paved surface and cast iron
bollards where these fall within the cross's protective margin, although the
ground beneath is included.

MAP EXTRACT
The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Wayside crosses are one of several types of Christian cross erected during the
medieval period, mostly from the 9th to 15th centuries AD. In addition to
serving the function of reiterating and reinforcing the Christian faith
amongst those who passed the cross and of reassuring the traveller, wayside
crosses often fulfilled a role as waymarkers, especially in difficult and
otherwise unmarked terrain. The crosses might be on regularly used routes
linking ordinary settlements or on routes having a more specifically religious
function, including those providing access to religious sites for parishioners
and funeral processions, or marking long-distance routes frequented on
pilgrimages.
Over 350 wayside crosses are known nationally, concentrated in south west
England throughout Cornwall and on Dartmoor where they form the commonest type
of stone cross. A small group also occurs on the North York Moors. Relatively
few examples have been recorded elsewhere and these are generally confined to
remote moorland locations.
Outside Cornwall almost all wayside crosses take the form of a `Latin' cross,
in which the cross-head itself is shaped within the projecting arms of an
unenclosed cross. In Cornwall wayside crosses vary considerably in form and
decoration. The commonest type includes a round, or `wheel', head on the faces
of which various forms of cross or related designs were carved in relief or
incised, the spaces between the cross arms possibly pierced. The design was
sometimes supplemented with a relief figure of Christ and the shaft might bear
decorative panels and motifs. Less common forms in Cornwall include the
`Latin' cross and, much rarer, the simple slab with a low relief cross on both
faces. Rare examples of wheel-head and slab-form crosses also occur within the
North York Moors group. Most wayside crosses have either a simple socketed
base or show no evidence for a separate base at all.
Wayside crosses contribute significantly to our understanding of medieval
religious customs and sculptural traditions and to our knowledge of medieval
routeways and settlement patterns. All wayside crosses which survive as earth-
fast monuments, except those which are extremely damaged and removed from
their original locations, are considered worthy of protection.

Despite the socket stone, shaft and head being absent, the village cross at
Lydney survives well with many of its original elements intact. Its position
by the roadside makes it an imposing monument and a landmark in the village.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Pooley, C, Notes on the Old Crosses of Gloucestershire, (1868), 62
Pooley, C, Notes on the Old Crosses of Gloucestershire, (1868), 64
Pooley, C, Notes on the Old Crosses of Gloucestershire, (1868), 61

Source: Historic England

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