Ancient Monuments

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Shipton-on-Cherwell churchyard cross

A Scheduled Monument in Shipton-on-Cherwell and Thrupp, Oxfordshire

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Latitude: 51.8455 / 51°50'43"N

Longitude: -1.3043 / 1°18'15"W

OS Eastings: 448024.487798

OS Northings: 216552.113458

OS Grid: SP480165

Mapcode National: GBR 7WL.72J

Mapcode Global: VHCX7.BWV3

Entry Name: Shipton-on-Cherwell churchyard cross

Scheduled Date: 24 February 1955

Last Amended: 18 November 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015165

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28137

County: Oxfordshire

Civil Parish: Shipton-on-Cherwell and Thrupp

Traditional County: Oxfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Oxfordshire

Church of England Parish: Shipton-on-Cherwell

Church of England Diocese: Oxford


The monument includes the remains of a churchyard cross situated in the
northern corner of the churchyard, north of the church. The position of the
cross makes it visible from the manor and the road down to the Cherwell from
the north east, and from the road east of the river which approaches the
site from Hampton Gay, where there is another church and manor.
The cross has a base of three square stone steps measuring up to 2.5m across.
The steps support a single square socket stone, or base block, which measures
0.8m across and stands 0.8m high. Set into this is a tapered octagonal shaft
2.3m high, upon which rests an ornate stone cross. This is not the original,
but was added during repairs at a later date.
The cross 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

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 in the churchyard at Shipton-on-Cherwell stands in its original
location and the ground beneath and around its base will contain
archaeological evidence relating to its construction and the land surface on
which it was built.

Source: Historic England


69: 6/133, D.O.E., LISTED BUILDINGS : CHERWELL, (1990)
SP 41 NE PRN 2423, C.A.O., Shipton-on-Cherwell Church Yard Cross, (1993)
Title: 1:10,000 Series SP 41 NE - SMR OVERLAYS
Source Date: 1995
Title: Ordnance Survey 1:10000 Series SP 41 NE
Source Date: 1980
SP 41 NE Sheet

Source: Historic England

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