Ancient Monuments

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Churchyard cross in Holy Trinity churchyard

A Scheduled Monument in Badgeworth, Gloucestershire

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Latitude: 51.8713 / 51°52'16"N

Longitude: -2.1439 / 2°8'38"W

OS Eastings: 390185.119446

OS Northings: 219200.775485

OS Grid: SO901192

Mapcode National: GBR 1L3.QRC

Mapcode Global: VH94D.S7F9

Entry Name: Churchyard cross in Holy Trinity churchyard

Scheduled Date: 18 November 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015111

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28525

County: Gloucestershire

Civil Parish: Badgeworth

Traditional County: Gloucestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Gloucestershire

Church of England Parish: Badgeworth Holy Trinity

Church of England Diocese: Gloucester


The monument includes a restored cross situated in the churchyard at
Badgeworth c.25m south east of the church.

The cross, which is Listed Grade II, has a square two step calvary, a socket
stone, a restored shaft with decorated terminal, and a cross head in the shape
of a lantern. The first step of the calvary is 2m wide and 0.65m high; the
second step is 1.35m wide and 0.25m high. Above this is the square socket
stone which has broaches (chamfers of angles to bring stone on a square plan
to octagonal) at its angles, forming an octagonal top. It is 0.8m wide and
0.57m high. The c.2m high shaft, square at the bottom, tapers to the restored
lantern head and becomes octagonal in section.

The calvary is constructed from stone blocks; the socket stone is hewn from
one piece of stone. These have the appearance of great age, but the shaft and
head are more recent. Set into the shaft on its east side is a plaque marking
the restoration of the cross by the vicar of the parish in 1897 to the memory
of his parents. The figures on the north and south sides of the lantern head
appear to be old, but those on the west and east are restored and depict the
Holy Trinity and the Crucifixion respectively. The oldest parts of the cross
are considered to be 15th century.

There is a socket stone lying in the churchyard c.20m to the north west of the
cross. This socket stone is 0.7m square and 0.25m deep with a square socket in
the centre c.0.35m wide. There is no record of two crosses originally standing
in this churchyard, and rather the stone is thought to be have been part of a
village cross, brought into the churchyard at some later date. It is not in
its original location and is not included in the scheduling.

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.

Despite the shaft and head having been restored, the standing cross in the
churchyard at Badgeworth survives well with many of its original elements
intact in what is likely to be its original location. The medieval cross
relates to the church which itself is 14th century with some 13th century

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Pooley, C, Notes on the Old Crosses of Gloucestershire, (1868), 13

Source: Historic England

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