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East Hagbourne village cross

A Scheduled Monument in East Hagbourne, Oxfordshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.5909 / 51°35'27"N

Longitude: -1.2418 / 1°14'30"W

OS Eastings: 452623.969

OS Northings: 188279.108999

OS Grid: SU526882

Mapcode National: GBR 912.BVD

Mapcode Global: VHCYM.F8DR

Entry Name: East Hagbourne village cross

Scheduled Date: 27 May 1938

Last Amended: 12 November 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015174

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28156

County: Oxfordshire

Civil Parish: East Hagbourne

Built-Up Area: Didcot

Traditional County: Berkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Oxfordshire

Church of England Parish: Hagbourne

Church of England Diocese: Oxford

Details

The monument includes the remains of a village cross, situated in the village
of East Hagbourne.
It has a base of five square steps, rather than the more usual three steps.
These are constructed of oolite blocks and the lower step measures 3m square.
The steps support an original shaft with a rough niche cut into its side. The
top of the cross, which is believed to be a 17th century addition, is a
sundial surmounted by a ball finial.
The present good condition and appearance of the cross is in large part due to
its well executed re-pointing and repair in the late 1980s.
The cross is Listed Grade II*.

MAP EXTRACT
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 East Hagbourne village cross stands in its original location and the
ground beneath and around its base will contain archaeological evidence
relating to its construction and use.
Despite having lost its original head, the addition of a 17th century sundial
and renovation work undertaken in the late 1980s have added to the appearance
of the monument and its focal position in the village.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
23433 Oxon 221, Armstrong, L., Village Cross, (1984)
Title: Ordnance Survey 1:10000
Source Date: 1980
Author:
Publisher:
Surveyor:
SU 58 NW

Source: Historic England

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