Ancient Monuments

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Mowbray Cross, Green Hill, Church Street

A Scheduled Monument in Haxey, North Lincolnshire

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Latitude: 53.4902 / 53°29'24"N

Longitude: -0.844 / 0°50'38"W

OS Eastings: 476797.43

OS Northings: 399896.024

OS Grid: SK767998

Mapcode National: GBR QXK2.2L

Mapcode Global: WHFFK.0JDQ

Entry Name: Mowbray Cross, Green Hill, Church Street

Scheduled Date: 14 March 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015315

English Heritage Legacy ID: 26615

County: North Lincolnshire

Civil Parish: Haxey

Built-Up Area: Haxey

Traditional County: Lincolnshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire

Church of England Parish: Haxey St Nicholas

Church of England Diocese: Lincoln


The monument includes the remains of Mowbray Cross, a medieval standing cross
restored in the 19th century, situated on Haxey village green.
The base of the cross takes the form of a socket stone 0.8m square in section
with moulded corners rising to a top of octagonal section. The socket stone is
partly buried and now stands approximately 0.25m above ground level.
The shaft of the cross, which was restored in the 19th century, measures 0.25m
square in section at the base with champfered corners rising in octagonal
section to a height of 2.5m. A mid panel on its east side bears painted relief
carvings of a shield with the Mowbray Arms: a lion rampant. The Mowbrays were
the medieval lords of Haxey Manor. The shaft terminates in a 19th century cap.
The overall height of the cross is approximately 2.75m.
The cross is Listed Grade II.
Modern paved surfaces to pavements and roads are excluded from the scheduling,
although the ground beneath is included.

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 believed to be on
the site of the village stocks. Although the head of the cross is modern, the
remainder is of medieval date and has base relief carvings relating it to the
medieval Lords of the Manor of Haxey - the Mowbrays. The cross is considered
to be a good example of its kind, which survives in good condition.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Stonehouse, W B , The History and Topography of the Isle of Axholme, (1839), 316
Humberside SMR, Sites and Monuments Record Sheet, (1996)

Source: Historic England

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