Ancient Monuments

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Wayside Cross at Ampney Crucis

A Scheduled Monument in Ampney Crucis, Gloucestershire

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Latitude: 51.7157 / 51°42'56"N

Longitude: -1.9053 / 1°54'19"W

OS Eastings: 406637.6808

OS Northings: 201886.9223

OS Grid: SP066018

Mapcode National: GBR 3R0.K39

Mapcode Global: VHB2R.X4LL

Entry Name: Wayside Cross at Ampney Crucis

Scheduled Date: 26 July 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014411

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22094

County: Gloucestershire

Civil Parish: Ampney Crucis

Built-Up Area: Ampney Crucis

Traditional County: Gloucestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Gloucestershire

Church of England Parish: Ampney Crucis The Holy Rood

Church of England Diocese: Gloucester


The monument includes part of a wayside cross shaft embedded in its original
socket on a pedestal, situated in an elevated position at the roadside beside
a footpath to Holy Rood Church in Ampney Crucis.
The stone pedestal of the cross is square incorporating two calvary steps. The
base of the pedestal is 1.6m long and 0.4m high and forms the first step.
Above this is the second step comprising a stone slab 1.15m square and 0.25m
high. The socket stone sits above this and is 0.7m square and 0.55m high with
chamfered corners. The socket in which the shaft is embedded is 0.3m square.
The broken shaft measures 0.7m high and tapers from its basal width of 0.3m to
c.0.2m wide, being square at the base then chamfered to a cylindrical section.
This wayside cross has been dated to the 14th century.

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
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 shaft being broken, the wayside cross at Ampney Crucis survives
well in what is likely to be its original location. This forms one of a pair
of crosses in Ampney Crucis, the other being located in the churchyard c.130m
to the west with a path linking the two.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Cox, J C, Little Guide to Gloucestershire, (1949), 43

Source: Historic England

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