Ancient Monuments

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Upton cross in old churchyard

A Scheduled Monument in Upton-upon-Severn, Worcestershire

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Latitude: 52.0642 / 52°3'51"N

Longitude: -2.2174 / 2°13'2"W

OS Eastings: 385189.80497

OS Northings: 240671.634862

OS Grid: SO851406

Mapcode National: GBR 1HP.J6D

Mapcode Global: VH93D.JC2X

Entry Name: Upton cross in old churchyard

Scheduled Date: 24 May 1951

Last Amended: 24 December 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015289

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29371

County: Worcestershire

Civil Parish: Upton-upon-Severn

Built-Up Area: Upton upon Severn

Traditional County: Worcestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Worcestershire

Church of England Parish: Upton-on-Severn

Church of England Diocese: Worcester


The monument includes a standing stone cross, situated in the churchyard of
the disused church at Upton upon Severn. The cross, which is Listed Grade II,
takes the form of a medieval socket stone and shaft, surmounted by an 18th
century sundial. The cross is now set in an old cider mill and serves as a war
The medieval socket stone is octagonal in plan and measures 0.86m in diameter
at the base. The socket stone is 0.76m high, and its edges are chamfered half
way up to a diameter of 0.68m. The shaft is octagonal in section and has a
diameter of 0.32m at the base. The cross head is set on a moulded neck and
takes the form of a lantern sundial with four gabled faces, and is surmounted
by a scrolled iron vane. The monument formerly stood at Cross Roads and was
restored in the 18th century by the owners of Ham Court, in whose grounds it
stood until the house was demolished. Since 1920 the cross has been in its
present location, set in a cider mill which is 1.8m in diameter, and the
socket stone now supports two plaques commemorating the World Wars. The cross
is believed to be one of the four recorded by Noake around 1847 along the
Upton to Rhydd road. Two of the others are scheduled separately, SM27538 and
The churchyard wall is completely excluded from the scheduling where it falls
within the cross's protective margin.

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 at Upton upon Severn is a good example of a medieval standing cross
with an octagonal socket stone. 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.
Documentary references to the cross and its association with others along the
Upton to Rhydd road further enhance interest in the monument. While elements
of the cross have survived since medieval times, the restoration of the head
and the adoption of the cross as a war memorial has resulted in its continued
function as a public monument and amenity.

Source: Historic England


Ancient monument description, Upton upon Severn,Upton Cross,

Source: Historic England

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