Ancient Monuments

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Staunton cross

A Scheduled Monument in Staunton Coleford, Gloucestershire

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Latitude: 51.81 / 51°48'35"N

Longitude: -2.6533 / 2°39'11"W

OS Eastings: 355057.822

OS Northings: 212573.913

OS Grid: SO550125

Mapcode National: GBR FN.X4H5

Mapcode Global: VH86V.YRPT

Entry Name: Staunton cross

Scheduled Date: 14 February 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015138

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28806

County: Gloucestershire

Civil Parish: Staunton Coleford

Traditional County: Gloucestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Gloucestershire


The monument includes a cross situated on a roadside verge at Staunton. The
cross lies on a grass covered south-facing slope at the junction of four roads
outside the churchyard.
The cross has a four step octagonal calvary, an octagonal socket stone and
plinth, and a broken shaft. The first step of the calvary is 3.3m across and
0.3m high, with each side of the octagon measuring 1.35m. The second step is
0.3m high with the octagon 1.13m per side; the third and fourth steps are
0.25m high with octagonal sides measuring 0.95m and 0.65m wide respectively.
Above this is the square base of the socket stone. This is 0.95m wide and 0.7m
high with broaches of convex outline at alternate faces forming an octagonal
top. This supports an octagonal plinth which is 0.75m across and 0.35m high
with each side of the octagon measuring 0.35m across. The 0.47m high square
shaft fits into a lead lined socket. It is 0.3m square at the base and the
shaft tapers slightly towards the top.
The whole cross is made of forest stone, and is thought to date from the 15th
century. It is Listed Grade II.

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 wayside cross at Staunton survives well, and, with the exception of part
of the shaft and cross head, has all of its original elements intact in
what is likely to be its original location. It lies close to the Norman church
of All Saints to which it relates. The cross is unusual in having both an
octagonal calvary and socket stone.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: Gloucestershire: The Cotswolds, (1970), 346
Pooley, C, Notes on the Old Crosses of Gloucestershire, (1868), 16-17

Source: Historic England

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