Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Wayside cross at Stumps Cross

A Scheduled Monument in Stanway, Gloucestershire

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Latitude: 51.972 / 51°58'19"N

Longitude: -1.8913 / 1°53'28"W

OS Eastings: 407564.955763

OS Northings: 230393.989782

OS Grid: SP075303

Mapcode National: GBR 3MY.8NJ

Mapcode Global: VHB1F.5PJN

Entry Name: Wayside cross at Stumps Cross

Scheduled Date: 24 December 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015388

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28808

County: Gloucestershire

Civil Parish: Stanway

Traditional County: Gloucestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Gloucestershire

Church of England Parish: Toddington, Stanway and Didbrook and Hailes

Church of England Diocese: Gloucester


The monument includes a cross situated on a grass covered roadside verge at
Stumps Cross. The cross lies in front of a drystone wall at the junction of
four roads.
The cross has a socket stone and a broken shaft. The socket stone is 0.8m
square and 0.35m high with broaches of convex outline at alternate faces
forming an octagonal top. The octagonal top is 0.7m across, with each side of
the octagon measuring 0.3m across. The 0.35m high square shaft is cemented
into a socket which is 0.3m square.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

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
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.

Despite a number of elements of the cross being missing, the socket stone with
broken shaft at Stumps Cross survives in what is likely to be its original
location. Its position marks a crossroads which was likely to have been more
important in the medieval period than it is now. Two of the four roads are now
only trackways, but appear to link Chipping Camden with Winchcombe.

Source: Historic England

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