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Churchyard cross, St Peter and St Paul's Church

A Scheduled Monument in Weobley, Herefordshire,

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Latitude: 52.1617 / 52°9'42"N

Longitude: -2.8757 / 2°52'32"W

OS Eastings: 340193.817604

OS Northings: 251852.953217

OS Grid: SO401518

Mapcode National: GBR FC.5WVV

Mapcode Global: VH77K.3XLQ

Entry Name: Churchyard cross, St Peter and St Paul's Church

Scheduled Date: 13 June 1973

Last Amended: 24 December 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015299

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27571

County: Herefordshire,

Civil Parish: Weobley

Built-Up Area: Weobley

Traditional County: Herefordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Herefordshire

Church of England Parish: Weobley

Church of England Diocese: Hereford


The monument includes a standing stone cross, situated in the churchyard of St
Peter and St Paul's Church, Weobley, c.25m east of the south porch. The cross
has a stepped base and socket stone both dating to the 14th century, and a
shaft and cross head which are of 19th century date. It is Listed Grade II.
The base includes six steps which are octagonal in plan, and the lowest of
which has subsided to below ground level. The maximum diameter of the base,
including the buried step, is c.5.8m, and its height above ground level is
1.5m. The socket stone is square in plan at the base, with sides of 0.65m, and
its angles are chamfered above broach stops, rising 0.4m to a moulded rim. The
west face of the socket stone extends outwards for c.0.1m to enclose a trefoil
headed niche, and the north, east and south faces are each decorated with
trefoil headed panels, although the detail is very weathered. The shaft is
square at the base, with sides of 0.23m. The corners are chamfered above
broach stops. It rises c.1.1m, tapering slightly to a moulded neck. It is
surmounted by a cross head 0.9m high, with expanded terminals and chamfered
The grave marker to the west of the cross is excluded from the scheduling,
although the ground beneath 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

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 in St Peter and St Paul's churchyard is a good example of a medieval
standing cross with an octagonal stepped base and decorated socket stone. 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 amenity.

Source: Historic England

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