Ancient Monuments

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Churchyard cross, Holy Trinity Church

A Scheduled Monument in Bosbury, Herefordshire,

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Latitude: 52.0883 / 52°5'17"N

Longitude: -2.446 / 2°26'45"W

OS Eastings: 369540.093798

OS Northings: 243423.613899

OS Grid: SO695434

Mapcode National: GBR FY.BMWG

Mapcode Global: VH85M.KR8Y

Entry Name: Churchyard cross, Holy Trinity Church

Scheduled Date: 23 December 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015682

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27570

County: Herefordshire,

Civil Parish: Bosbury

Built-Up Area: Bosbury

Traditional County: Herefordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Herefordshire

Church of England Parish: Bosbury

Church of England Diocese: Hereford


The monument includes a standing stone cross located in the churchyard of Holy
Trinity Church, Bosbury, c.5m south of the south porch. The cross takes the
form of a stepped base, socket stone and restored shaft, all of 15th century
date, and a 17th century cross head.
The base includes three steps, square in plan and with a maximum width of 3m.
The cross base is set on a slight slope and the lower step is flush with the
grass on the east side. In total the base is c.1m high. The socket stone is
also square in plan, 0.6m high and 0.85m in width. It has a moulded base and
narrows above a double chamfered moulding. The shaft is square and measures
0.3m at the base. It has chamfered angles above broach stops. The shaft has
been repaired in cement and stands c.2.5m high with a moulded neck. The cross
head has expanded terminals and carries 17th century inscriptions.
The grave markers to the south east and north east of the cross and the
metalled path surface to the west are excluded from the scheduling, although
the ground beneath them 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 Holy Trinity churchyard is a good example of a medieval standing
cross with a square stepped base and restored shaft. 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 survive from medieval times, subsequent restoration
illustrates its continued function as a public monument and amenity.

Source: Historic England


RCHM, RCHM Herefordshire Volume 2, (1932)

Source: Historic England

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