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Elmley Castle village cross

A Scheduled Monument in Elmley Castle, Worcestershire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.0711 / 52°4'15"N

Longitude: -2.026 / 2°1'33"W

OS Eastings: 398314.063667

OS Northings: 241415.275696

OS Grid: SO983414

Mapcode National: GBR 2K8.4L7

Mapcode Global: VHB0Y.T6SM

Entry Name: Elmley Castle village cross

Scheduled Date: 18 May 1951

Last Amended: 24 December 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015287

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29369

County: Worcestershire

Civil Parish: Elmley Castle

Built-Up Area: Elmley Castle

Traditional County: Worcestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Worcestershire

Church of England Parish: Elmley Castle with Netherton, Bricklehampton, Gt Combrton and Lt Comberton

Church of England Diocese: Worcester

Details

The monument includes a standing stone cross, situated at the junction of
Netherton Lane and the Ashton to Pershore road, in the centre of Elmley Castle
village. The cross, which is constructed of shelly limestone, takes the form
of a medieval socket stone and shaft, with a 17th century head and sundial.
It is Listed Grade II.
The socket stone is square in plan and measures 0.74m at the base. It is
c.0.44m high and has chamfered edges giving a diameter at the top of 0.63m.
The shaft rises from a low octagonal plinth, but is itself rectangular in
plan, with sides of 0.32m x 0.16m. It tapers slightly to a height of c.1.9m,
and its broad sides face north and south. Both socket stone and shaft are
probably of 14th century date. The south face of the shaft is engraved down
the east side with rounded Roman numerals, which were probably added in the
17th century when the existing head was added to the shaft. The head takes the
form of a single limestone block, c.0.45m high, which has two moulded cornices
and a rounded knob on its top, the remains of the sundial with which it was
provided.
The paving slabs to the south of the cross are excluded from the scheduling,
although the ground beneath them is included.

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

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
pilgrimages.
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 cross at Elmley Castle is a good example of a medieval standing cross with
a square socket stone and tapering shaft. 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 most of the cross has survived since medieval times, the
17th century restoration of the head and the embellishment of the shaft
display its continued function as a public monument and amenity.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
Ancient monument description, Elmley Castle village cross,
DOE, Listed building description, Elmley Castle village cross, (1965)
HWCM 05573,

Source: Historic England

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