Ancient Monuments

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Butter Cross or Pulestone Cross, on the south west side of the market place

A Scheduled Monument in Newport, Telford and Wrekin

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Latitude: 52.7693 / 52°46'9"N

Longitude: -2.3791 / 2°22'44"W

OS Eastings: 374521.3375

OS Northings: 319147.4415

OS Grid: SJ745191

Mapcode National: GBR 7Z.YQLQ

Mapcode Global: WH9CR.FNBB

Entry Name: Butter Cross or Pulestone Cross, on the south west side of the market place

Scheduled Date: 10 June 1952

Last Amended: 1 August 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014890

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27535

County: Telford and Wrekin

Civil Parish: Newport

Built-Up Area: Newport

Traditional County: Shropshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Shropshire

Church of England Parish: Newport St Nicholas

Church of England Diocese: Lichfield


The monument includes the Butter or Pulestone Cross, a standing stone cross,
Listed Grade II, located on the south west side of the market place in the
town of Newport. A modern inscribed bronze plaque records that the cross was
originally erected c.1280 in memory of Roger de Pyvelesdon, (hence the name
Pulestone Cross). The cross was mutilated, probably during the Civil War. The
standing remains include a stepped base, socket stone, and part of the shaft.
The base includes four steps, octagonal in plan, constructed of sandstone
ashlar blocks. The base has an overall diameter of c.3m, and is c.1m high,
however due to the build-up of the modern road surface, the bottom step rises
only c.0.06m above the surrounding cobbles. The socket stone is a single
sandstone block, also octagonal in plan, and c.0.9m in diameter. It is 0.45m
high with chamfered edges, each of which has a groove worn at its centre,
resulting from the use of the step for sharpening knives and other metal
implements. The head of the cross is missing, but the square shaft stands 2m
high, and is decorated with angle rolls and rather worn triangular fillets.
The cobbled surface surrounding 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

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 Butter or Pulestone Cross is a good example of a medieval market cross
with stepped base and ornamented shaft. Situated in the former market place,
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 and use in this location are
likely to survive intact. The monument is a popular place for local people to
congregate, and the modern plaque illustrates its continued function as a
public monument and amenity.

Source: Historic England


7th list, DOE, Listed building description, (1978)

Source: Historic England

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