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Standing cross on the village green, 30m south east of the junction of Carr House Lane and Lady Green Lane

A Scheduled Monument in Ince Blundell, Sefton

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.5239 / 53°31'26"N

Longitude: -3.0264 / 3°1'35"W

OS Eastings: 332048.279772

OS Northings: 403516.528632

OS Grid: SD320035

Mapcode National: GBR 7W9P.LH

Mapcode Global: WH86M.HP2C

Entry Name: Standing cross on the village green, 30m south east of the junction of Carr House Lane and Lady Green Lane

Scheduled Date: 12 June 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015908

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27615

County: Sefton

Civil Parish: Ince Blundell

Built-Up Area: Ince Blundell

Traditional County: Lancashire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Merseyside

Church of England Parish: Sefton St Helen

Church of England Diocese: Liverpool

Details

The monument includes a standing cross on the village green at Ince Blundell.
The plinth has been restored and the steps rebuilt. A modern cross shaft and
head have been inserted in the base block by Sir Thomas Weld Blundell in
c.1876. The cross and base are Listed Grade II.
The base plinth measures 4.8m square and stands 0.75m high. The steps are
substantially reconstructed of medieval stones in approximation to an original
pattern with some modern stone to replace damaged and worn originals. There
are six steps surmounted by a single base block. The steps measure 4.2m square
at the bottom rising to 1.2m square at the top. The base block is 0.85m square
and stands 0.3m high with a socket 0.37m square cut into the top. Into this is
a well conceived cross of local sandstone standing 2.8m high.
Cut into the steps and base block are a number of shallow incised crosses and
cryptic marks which may be masons marks of the medieval period.

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 standing cross at the village green in Ince Blundell is in its original
location and probably served as a preaching cross and market centre for the
village.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other

Source: Historic England

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