Ancient Monuments

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Boundary cross 50m north west of Northend Cottage

A Scheduled Monument in Hanley Castle, Worcestershire

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Latitude: 52.0901 / 52°5'24"N

Longitude: -2.2379 / 2°14'16"W

OS Eastings: 383798.321753

OS Northings: 243557.63638

OS Grid: SO837435

Mapcode National: GBR 1H8.YVN

Mapcode Global: VH936.5Q8K

Entry Name: Boundary cross 50m NW of Northend Cottage

Scheduled Date: 29 July 1946

Last Amended: 27 August 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014905

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27549

County: Worcestershire

Civil Parish: Hanley Castle

Traditional County: Worcestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Worcestershire

Church of England Parish: Hanley Castle with Hanley Swan

Church of England Diocese: Worcester


The monument includes the remains of a standing stone cross, situated at the
east side of a field, near the junction of Northend Farm drive and the Upton
to Worcester road. The cross is of shelly limestone and takes the form of a
medieval socket stone and the base of a shaft.
The socket stone is octagonal in section and of stepped form, with three tiers
each with a roll moulded rim. The socket stone has a diameter of c.0.9m at the
base and 0.67m at the top, and is c.0.5m high. The shaft is octagonal in
section, rising above stops from a square base which retains its lead
sinkings. Roughly 0.5m of the shaft remains. The cross is mentioned as the
starting point of the perambulation of the Malvern Chase boundaries during the
reign of Elizabeth I, and is probably one of the four noted as standing
between Upton and Rhydd in c.1847. One of the others stands to the east of the
road some 1.5km to the south, and is the subject of a separate scheduling

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 cross 50m north west of Northend Cottage is a good example of a medieval
standing cross with a moulded octagonal socket stone. 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.
As one of four original boundary markers, interest in the monument is further
enchanced by documentary references to the group.

Source: Historic England


FMW, HW 270, AM7,
spec. 25 inch, Gray, E F, (1950)

Source: Historic England

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