Ancient Monuments

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Churchyard cross in St John the Baptist's churchyard

A Scheduled Monument in Chaceley, Gloucestershire

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Latitude: 51.9742 / 51°58'26"N

Longitude: -2.2122 / 2°12'43"W

OS Eastings: 385517.945472

OS Northings: 230653.739796

OS Grid: SO855306

Mapcode National: GBR 1JV.CHC

Mapcode Global: VH93S.LMVZ

Entry Name: Churchyard cross in St John the Baptist's churchyard

Scheduled Date: 24 December 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015946

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28812

County: Gloucestershire

Civil Parish: Chaceley

Traditional County: Worcestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Gloucestershire

Church of England Parish: Chaceley St John the Baptist

Church of England Diocese: Gloucester


The monument includes a cross with restored shaft and head situated in the
churchyard at Chaceley c.6m south of the church.
The cross, which is Listed Grade II, has a square two step calvary, a socket
stone, a restored shaft surmounted by a restored decorated terminal and cross
head. The first step of the calvary is 2.4m long and is flush with the grass,
the second step is 1.8m long and 0.4m high. Above this is the socket stone,
square at its base, with broaches at its angles, forming an octagonal top. It
is 0.73m wide and 0.45m high. The c.1.5m high shaft, square at the bottom,
tapers to the restored decorated terminal and cross head.
The calvary is constructed from stone blocks. The socket stone is hewn from
one piece of stone. These have the appearance of great age, but the shaft and
head appear more modern. The cross is used as a war memorial, and on the shaft
is a plaque with an inscription to those from the village who fell in the
First World War.

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

This List entry has been amended to add sources for War Memorials Online and the War Memorials Register. These sources were not used in the compilation of this List entry but are added here as a guide for further reading, 10 January 2017.

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 in the churchyard at Chaceley survives well, despite the
shaft and head having been restored, with many of its original elements intact
in what is likely to be its original location.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Churches around Tewkesbury
War Memorials Online, accessed 10 January 2017 from
War Memorials Register, accessed 10 January 2017 from

Source: Historic England

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