This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.
We don't have any photos of this monument yet. Why don't you be the first to send us one?
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.
Latitude: 52.7733 / 52°46'23"N
Longitude: -2.8795 / 2°52'46"W
OS Eastings: 340762.862263
OS Northings: 319883.713303
OS Grid: SJ407198
Mapcode National: GBR 7B.Y91Y
Mapcode Global: WH8BC.RK09
Entry Name: Churchyard cross, St Martin's Church
Scheduled Date: 20 June 1972
Last Amended: 24 December 1996
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1015282
English Heritage Legacy ID: 27579
Civil Parish: Little Ness
Traditional County: Shropshire
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Shropshire
Church of England Parish: Little Ness St Martin
Church of England Diocese: Lichfield
The monument includes a standing stone cross situated in the churchyard of St
Martin's Church, Little Ness, c.7m south east of the south porch. The cross
takes the form of a stepped base and a socket stone, both medieval in date,
and a restored shaft and cross head.
The base includes three steps and is hexagonal in plan, with a diameter of
2.8m. The cross has subsided slightly and the bottom step is flush with the
surrounding grass, thus the base stands 0.8m above ground level. The
socket stone is also hexagonal in section and measures 0.75m in diameter by
0.45m high. It supports a restored cross shaft which tapers and is surmounted
by a copper crucifix.
The path surface to the south west of the cross is excluded from the
scheduling, although the ground beneath it is included.
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
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 St Martin's churchyard is a good example of a medieval standing
cross with a hexagonal stepped base. It is believed to stand in its original
position, and limited development in the area immediately surrounding the
cross suggests that archaeological deposits relating to the monument's
construction and use in this location are likely to survive intact. While
parts of the cross have survived from medieval times, its subsequent
restoration illustrates its continued function as a public monument and
Source: Historic England
Other nearby scheduled monuments