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Village cross at junction of Worcester Road and Church Street

A Scheduled Monument in Wyre Piddle, Worcestershire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.1255 / 52°7'31"N

Longitude: -2.0532 / 2°3'11"W

OS Eastings: 396454.209002

OS Northings: 247461.150499

OS Grid: SO964474

Mapcode National: GBR 2JG.PQP

Mapcode Global: VHB0K.CVF0

Entry Name: Village cross at junction of Worcester Road and Church Street

Scheduled Date: 25 September 1950

Last Amended: 24 December 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015685

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29368

County: Worcestershire

Civil Parish: Wyre Piddle

Built-Up Area: Wyre Piddle

Traditional County: Worcestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Worcestershire

Church of England Parish: Fladbury, Hill and Moor, Wyre Piddle, Cropthorne and Charlton

Church of England Diocese: Worcester

Details

The monument includes a standing stone cross, situated on the south side of
the B4084 Worcester to Evesham road, in the village of Wyre Piddle. The cross
takes the form of a stepped base, socket stone and shaft of medieval date,
surmounted by a 19th century knob and iron cross head. The cross is Listed
Grade II.
The cross base is formed of three steps, square in plan, with a width of 2m.
The gravel surface surrounding the cross has obscured the full height of the
base, which is up to 0.8m above road level. The socket stone is also square in
plan, measuring 0.75m at the base and 0.7m high. Its angles are chamfered over
stops to an octagonal top. The cross shaft is square at the base, with sides
of 0.3m, and has angles chamfered above broached stops. It tapers slightly and
rises to a height of c.2m. The monument was restored in 1844 and the shaft is
now surmounted by an octagonal moulded and chamfered knop, with a simple,
elongated iron cross head.
The gravel surface, stone edging, and metalled road surface surrounding the
cross 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.
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 at Wyre Piddle is a good example of a medieval standing cross with a
square stepped base. 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 most of the cross has
survived since medieval times, the restoration of the head illustrates its
continued function as a public monument and amenity.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
10/902, DOE, Listed building description, (1965)
orig scheduling, AM7, Wyre Piddle Village Cross,

Source: Historic England

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