Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Woodeaton village cross

A Scheduled Monument in Woodeaton, Oxfordshire

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »
Street or Overhead View
Contributor Photos »

If Google Street View is available, the image is from the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the monument. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.

Coordinates

Latitude: 51.8037 / 51°48'13"N

Longitude: -1.2255 / 1°13'31"W

OS Eastings: 453498.240999

OS Northings: 211959.992002

OS Grid: SP534119

Mapcode National: GBR 8YD.WGR

Mapcode Global: VHCXG.PXZM

Entry Name: Woodeaton village cross

Scheduled Date: 23 March 1949

Last Amended: 12 November 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015176

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28158

County: Oxfordshire

Civil Parish: Woodeaton

Traditional County: Oxfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Oxfordshire

Church of England Parish: Woodeaton

Church of England Diocese: Oxford

Details

The monument includes the remains of a village cross, situated in the middle
of the village of Woodeaton, on the original village green.
The cross, which is Listed Grade I, has a base of two square steps, rather
than the more usual three steps.
These are constructed of oolite blocks and measure up to 2m across. The steps
support a square socket stone into which is set a 3.6m high shaft. All but a
small fragment of the head of the cross has been lost.

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 Woodeaton village cross stands in its original location at the centre of
the village. The ground beneath and around its base will contain
archaeological evidence relating to its construction and use.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
PRN 1328, C.A.O., Woodeaton Village Cross, (1993)
Title: Ordnance Survey 1:10000 Series
Source Date: 1980
Author:
Publisher:
Surveyor:
SP 51 SW

Source: Historic England

Other nearby scheduled monuments

AncientMonuments.uk is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact AncientMonuments.uk for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself.

AncientMonuments.uk is a Good Stuff website.