Ancient Monuments

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Churchyard cross in St Andrew's churchyard

A Scheduled Monument in Hampton Bishop, Herefordshire,

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Latitude: 52.0389 / 52°2'19"N

Longitude: -2.6447 / 2°38'40"W

OS Eastings: 355876.086193

OS Northings: 238024.322005

OS Grid: SO558380

Mapcode National: GBR FP.FLMC

Mapcode Global: VH85X.30QV

Entry Name: Churchyard cross in St Andrew's churchyard

Scheduled Date: 24 September 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016124

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29845

County: Herefordshire,

Civil Parish: Hampton Bishop

Built-Up Area: Hampton Bishop

Traditional County: Herefordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Herefordshire

Church of England Parish: Hampton Bishop

Church of England Diocese: Hereford


The monument includes a standing stone cross located within the churchyard of
St Andrew's Church, approximately 4m to the north of the north porch. The
cross is of stepped form, and is principally medieval in date with some later
additions. The cross, which is Listed Grade II*, includes the base of three
steps and a socket stone, the shaft, the knop and the head.
The steps are octagonal in plan and are constructed of sandstone blocks. The
bottom step is approximately 2.6m in diameter, and the surface of it is flush
with the ground level. The middle step has a diameter of 2.12m and a height of
0.26m. The top step has a diameter of 1.5m and a height of 0.24m. The socket
stone rests on the uppermost step and is square in plan at the base, reduced
by a bevel to a smaller square, and then by rounded chamfers to an octagon. It
measures 0.89m square and 0.66m high. An elaborate niche has been cut into
its western face. The niche has a pointed head and is framed by a low relief
carving depicting a pointed gable with eaves and a cylindrical ridge; it is
thought to have been carved to hold the Pyx or Holy Water when Mass was
celebrated at the cross or to hold a statue or icon. The shaft is set into the
socket stone; it is square in section at the base, rising through chamfered
corners to a tapering octagonal section. It is 1.74m high. A simple Doric
style knop serves as a platform for the head, an open-armed crucifix with
foliate terminals. The uppermost terminal has been broken off. The head
appears to be the only modern addition to the cross. Together the knop and the
head measure approximately 0.5m. The full height of the cross is 3.4m.
The gravestone to the north of the cross is excluded from the scheduling,
although the ground beneath it is included.

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 churchyard cross at St Andrew's is a good example of a medieval standing
cross with an octagonal stepped base, and a square to octagonal socket stone
and shaft. Situated close to the north porch it is believed to stand in or
near its original position. While most of the cross has survived from medieval
times, subsequent restoration has resulted in its continued function as a
public monument and amenity.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Hopton, M, The Crosses of Herefordshire, (1901)
Marples, B, 'Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists Field Club' in The Niche in Medieval Churchyard Crosses, , Vol. 40, (1972), 321-332
RCHM, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments of Herefordshire, (1932)

Source: Historic England

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