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White Cross, 80m north of Poultry Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Tydd St Mary, Lincolnshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.7462 / 52°44'46"N

Longitude: 0.1004 / 0°6'1"E

OS Eastings: 541872.687002

OS Northings: 318579.487

OS Grid: TF418185

Mapcode National: GBR L0P.VK0

Mapcode Global: WHJP2.J70J

Entry Name: White Cross, 80m north of Poultry Farm

Scheduled Date: 21 May 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014429

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22713

County: Lincolnshire

Civil Parish: Tydd St Mary

Traditional County: Lincolnshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire

Church of England Parish: Tydd St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Lincoln

Details

The monument includes the remains of a standing stone cross located on a
roadside verge 80m north of Poultry Farm. Standing on the east side of the
parish boundary between Tydd St Mary and Sutton St James, it represents a
medieval boundary cross marking the eastern corner of the parish of Sutton St
James. The monument includes the base of the cross, which is constructed of
limestone.

The base takes the form of a socket stone, a single block about 0.7m square in
section which is now largely buried. The upper face of the stone, which
stands up to 0.05m above the present ground surface, includes a socket of
rectangular section into which a shaft with cross head would formerly have
been fixed. Records made of the socket stone in 1915 indicate that it is
approximately 0.32m deep and includes a carved decoration on one side.

The monument includes a 1m boundary around the cross which is essential for
the monument's support and preservation.

MAP EXTRACT
The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 1 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 remains of the White Cross represent a valuable example of a medieval
boundary cross still located in its original position. It is one of a rare
group of boundary markers, known through early maps, which formerly surrounded
the fenland parish of Sutton St James; only two other crosses in the group
survive. Absence of later restoration, and limited disturbance of the area
immediately surrounding the cross, indicate that archaeological deposits
relating to the monument's construction and use are likely to survive intact.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Davies, D S, 'Lincolnshire Notes & Queries' in Ancient Stone Crosses in Lindsey and Holland Divisions of Lincs, , Vol. XIII no7, (1915), 218

Source: Historic England

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