Ancient Monuments

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Wayside cross 150m north east of Ince Blundell Hall

A Scheduled Monument in Ince Blundell, Sefton

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Latitude: 53.5199 / 53°31'11"N

Longitude: -3.0145 / 3°0'52"W

OS Eastings: 332834.161

OS Northings: 403057.606

OS Grid: SD328030

Mapcode National: GBR 7WDQ.5Y

Mapcode Global: WH86M.NSQG

Entry Name: Wayside cross 150m north east of Ince Blundell Hall

Scheduled Date: 12 June 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015907

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27614

County: Sefton

Civil Parish: Ince Blundell

Traditional County: Lancashire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Merseyside

Church of England Parish: Sefton St Helen

Church of England Diocese: Liverpool


The monument includes a stone cross base for a wayside cross on the side of a
former road connecting Ince Lane with Hall Lane within the grounds of Ince
Blundell Hall. It was isolated by the emparkment of Ince Blundell Hall in the
18th century. The location of the cross is commemorated by a cross painted on
a slab of stone let into the wall of the park 120m to the north. This
indicates that the cross base is in its original location.
The base is carved from a single piece of sandstone which has been cracked
horizontally and repaired with mortar. The base rests on a sandstone plinth
which has been constructed at the ground level to support it. The block
measures 0.80m by 0.77m and stands 0.53m high. A socket hole in the top of the
stone measures 0.37m by 0.35m. Into this socket a whitewashed wooden cross has
been inserted in recent years.
On the top surface of the base there are traces of three incised crosses cut
into the stone but badly worn. There may have been five of these in the
original version to symbolise the five wounds of Christ.

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.

The wayside cross base at Ince Blundell Hall survives well and in its original
location beside the course of an old road which has been diverted by the
emparkment of the hall grounds. It is one of the few surviving wayside crosses
which used to line the roads in this district. The area was a haven for
Catholic recusants after the Reformation and such survivals represent the
power of such religious thought during the 16th and 17th centuries.

Source: Historic England

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