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Churchyard cross, St George's Church

A Scheduled Monument in Bradley, North East Lincolnshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.5428 / 53°32'33"N

Longitude: -0.1276 / 0°7'39"W

OS Eastings: 524171.189036

OS Northings: 406754.010915

OS Grid: TA241067

Mapcode National: GBR WWKG.5R

Mapcode Global: WHHHZ.06JW

Entry Name: Churchyard cross, St George's Church

Scheduled Date: 14 March 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015314

English Heritage Legacy ID: 26614

County: North East Lincolnshire

Civil Parish: Bradley

Traditional County: Lincolnshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire

Church of England Parish: Little Coates St Michael

Church of England Diocese: Lincoln

Details

The monument includes a standing cross in the churchyard of St George's
Church, Bradley, standing approximately 6m south of the south porch of the
church.
The cross includes a tapered chamfered shaft approximately 2.25m high with
broach-stops of limestone ashlar, set into a base measuring 0.7m square and
0.4m high, set upon a three course stepped base, the lowest section of which
is 2m square and 10cm high, the central step being 1.7m square and 0.3m high
and the upper step being 1.25m square and also 0.3m high. The overall height
of the whole monument is some 3m.
The cross shaft retains part of an octagonal capital which has a damaged,
crenellated top. The cross is believed to date to the 14th or 15th century,
and it is Grade II Listed.
All paved surfaces and a headstone 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.

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 is thought to be in its original position, and is considered to be a
good example of a 14th or 15th century cross which survives in good condition.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
Department of the Environment List, (1986)
Humberside SMR, Sites and Monuments Record Sheet, (1996)

Source: Historic England

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