Ancient Monuments

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Cross base on Standish Wood Lane 700m south east of Standish Hall

A Scheduled Monument in Shevington with Lower Ground, Wigan

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Latitude: 53.5737 / 53°34'25"N

Longitude: -2.6619 / 2°39'42"W

OS Eastings: 356268.245459

OS Northings: 408772.458123

OS Grid: SD562087

Mapcode National: GBR 9WV3.HN

Mapcode Global: WH97R.2FQN

Entry Name: Cross base on Standish Wood Lane 700m south east of Standish Hall

Scheduled Date: 1 July 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015156

English Heritage Legacy ID: 25719

County: Wigan

Electoral Ward/Division: Shevington with Lower Ground

Traditional County: Lancashire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater Manchester

Church of England Parish: Standish St Wilfrid

Church of England Diocese: Blackburn


The monument includes a cross base set into a hedge bank on the east side of
Standish Wood Lane. Formerly this has been reported as having a shaft and tier
of steps but neither of these features survive. The cross forms one of a group
of four medieval crosses which functioned as waymarkers along the medieval
route from Wigan to Chorley.
The cross base is carved from a single block of local gritstone measuring 0.9m
by 0.65m and stands 0.55m high. A socket hole is cut in the top 0.3m by 0.3m
and 0.22m deep. There are grooves cut into the top from the socket hole to the
edge of the stone on the east and west sides. There is an OS benchmark cut
into the top surface of the block on the south side.
The base, which is Listed Grade II, is 1m from the metalled lane surface and
0.4m above the level of the lane. Beside it on the south side a field drain
discharges water onto the side of the lane. This has led people to believe
that it was a water trough in earlier times.

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 base of the cross on Standish Lane survives in its original position
beside an old road in spite of the loss of its shaft. There may be remains of
its steps embedded in the hedge bank which partly covers the base block. It is
one of a group of four medieval crosses intended as waymarkers on the route
between Wigan and Chorley. These crosses provide important evidence of the
medieval route and serve to remind us of medieval travellers and the
importance of religion in medieval life.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Margery, I D, Roman Roads in Britain, (1957), 100-101
Taylor, H, 'Trans. Lancashire and Cheshire Antiques Society' in Trans. Lancashire and Cheshire Antiques Society: Volume 19, (1899), 17
Powell, P J, (1995)

Source: Historic England

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