Ancient Monuments

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Ripple village cross

A Scheduled Monument in Ripple, Worcestershire

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Latitude: 52.038 / 52°2'16"N

Longitude: -2.1839 / 2°11'2"W

OS Eastings: 387479.031

OS Northings: 237749.672

OS Grid: SO874377

Mapcode National: GBR 1J4.0PX

Mapcode Global: VH93M.319H

Entry Name: Ripple village cross

Scheduled Date: 16 November 1929

Last Amended: 14 March 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014907

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27551

County: Worcestershire

Civil Parish: Ripple

Built-Up Area: Uckinghall

Traditional County: Worcestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Worcestershire

Church of England Parish: Ripple

Church of England Diocese: Worcester


The monument includes the remains of a standing stone cross, situated on a
small village green in the centre of Ripple. The 14th century cross is made of
limestone and consists of a stepped base, socket stone, and shaft. It is
Listed Grade II.
The base has three steps of massive limestone blocks, with sides of 2m at the
base. The lower two have been extensively repaired with brick. The socket
stone, c.0.5m high, has a square moulded base and angles chamfered above
stops rising to an octagonal section. The slender shaft is also square in
section at the base, with chamfered angles rising c.3m to a summit which is
octagonal in section. It is topped by a simple rounded knop with a lead cap.
The overall height of the cross is c.4.5m.
The gravel surface around the cross, the rail fence, and the set of replica
stocks which stands adjacent to the south side of the cross, are excluded from
the scheduling, but the ground beneath them is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

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.

Ripple village cross is a good example of a medieval standing cross with a
stepped base and octagonal shaft. Located on the village green, 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.

Source: Historic England


Archaeol Dept, H&W CC, HWCM 05565,
HWCM 00308 Uckinghall Village Cross,

Source: Historic England

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