Ancient Monuments

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Langton Cross: a wayside cross 850m south west of Tatton House

A Scheduled Monument in Langton Herring, Dorset

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.6405 / 50°38'25"N

Longitude: -2.533 / 2°31'58"W

OS Eastings: 362406.356698

OS Northings: 82447.733741

OS Grid: SY624824

Mapcode National: GBR PW.LD07

Mapcode Global: FRA 57LC.T5Y

Entry Name: Langton Cross: a wayside cross 850m south west of Tatton House

Scheduled Date: 24 April 1939

Last Amended: 25 September 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016099

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29572

County: Dorset

Civil Parish: Langton Herring

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Langton Herring St Peter

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury

Details

The monument includes a stone wayside cross located 850m south west of Tatton
House at the junction of the road from Portisham to Weymouth and that from
Langton Herring. The cross, which is Listed Grade II*, is a monolith,
approximately 0.3m square with chamfered edges, and 1m high, with a T-shaped
head 0.5m wide, the top arm of which is missing. The cross is now located 9.5m
north west of its original location and is set in a concrete base.
The fence is excluded from the scheduling where it falls within the cross's 2m
protective margin.

MAP EXTRACT
The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

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
pilgrimages.
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, 850m south west of Tatton House, is close to its original
position and at the same road junction. It remains an important example of its
class.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
'Dorset Archaeology in 1985' in Dorset Archaeology in 1985, , Vol. 107, (1985), 172

Source: Historic England

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