Ancient Monuments

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Butter Cross 350m north west of Yewtree Cottage

A Scheduled Monument in Alveley, Shropshire

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Latitude: 52.469 / 52°28'8"N

Longitude: -2.3657 / 2°21'56"W

OS Eastings: 375255.661498

OS Northings: 285740.755176

OS Grid: SO752857

Mapcode National: GBR 09B.2QZ

Mapcode Global: VH91C.Y67K

Entry Name: Butter Cross 350m north west of Yewtree Cottage

Scheduled Date: 9 October 1981

Last Amended: 1 August 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014889

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27534

County: Shropshire

Civil Parish: Alveley

Traditional County: Shropshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Shropshire

Church of England Parish: Alveley

Church of England Diocese: Hereford


The monument includes the Butter Cross, a standing stone cross situated on the
verge at the south west approach to a small crossroads, approximately 1.5km
north west of Alveley village centre. The cross, which is medieval in date,
was erected to mark the crossroads, and includes a base, shaft and head. It
is Listed Grade II.
The circular base is a single block of red sandstone, with a slightly convex
surface, measuring c.1.2m in diameter and standing 0.24m high. The shaft and
head are formed of a single piece of sandstone, and are 1.7m high in total.
The shaft is square in section and c.0.2m wide at the base, with slightly
chamfered corners, rising to the head which is an oblate circle, 0.45m across
and 0.4m high. The shaft is set slightly off centre and the north and south
faces of the head are each decorated in low relief with a `Maltese' cross,
with central boss and expanded arm terminals, which occupies the whole face.
The sides of the shaft and head taper, measuring 0.16m at the base of the
head, and c.0.08m at the top.
The modern road surface to the south east of the cross is excluded from the
scheduling, but the ground beneath it is included.

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

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.

The Butter Cross 350m north west of Yewtree Cottage is a good example of a
medieval wayside standing cross with a circular socket stone and a rare, well
preserved decorated head. It is believed to stand in its original position,
and limited development in the area immediately surrounding the cross suggests
that archaeological deposits relating to the monument's construction in this
location are likely to survive intact. The cross's roadside location ensures
its continuing function as a public monument and amenity.

Source: Historic England


4th list, DOE, Listed building description, (1974)

Source: Historic England

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