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Churchyard cross in St James's churchyard

A Scheduled Monument in Tedstone Delamere, Herefordshire,

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.2243 / 52°13'27"N

Longitude: -2.447 / 2°26'49"W

OS Eastings: 369559.510009

OS Northings: 258543.220716

OS Grid: SO695585

Mapcode National: GBR FY.21LP

Mapcode Global: VH851.JCQ7

Entry Name: Churchyard cross in St James's churchyard

Scheduled Date: 24 September 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016336

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29859

County: Herefordshire,

Civil Parish: Tedstone Delamere

Traditional County: Herefordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Herefordshire

Church of England Parish: Greater Whitbourne

Church of England Diocese: Hereford

Details

The monument includes a standing stone cross located approximately 7m to the
south east of the church porch. The cross, which is Listed Grade II, is
medieval in date with later additions and includes a base of one step and a
socket stone, a shaft, sundial, knop and modern head.
The step is square in plan and measures 1.4m square and 0.44m high. Resting on
the step is the socket stone measuring 0.67m square at the bottom and reduced
by a bevel to a smaller square, 0.4m across and 0.5m high. The shaft rests on
the socket stone and is octagonal in section, with a diameter of 0.26m and a
height of 1.24m. At the top of the shaft is a single block of stone,
measuring 0.33m square and 0.33m high. The eroded remains of sundials are
scored into the south, east and west faces of this stone with iron `gnomons'
on the south and east faces, and the remnants of one visible on the west face.
Above the sundial head is a knop, made up of a flat, square, moulded piece of
stone, with a further stone in the shape of a truncated pyramid immediately
above. This acts as the platform for a modern ring headed cross head. The
overall height of the cross is approximately 3.16m.
The gravestone immediately to the west of the cross is excluded from the
scheduling, although the ground beneath it is included.

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

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 in St James's churchyard represents a good example of a
medieval standing cross with a square stepped base. It occupies a prominent
position to the south east of the south porch and is believed to stand in or
near its original position. While parts of the cross have survived from
medieval times, subsequent additions indicate its continued function as a
public monument and amenity.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Watkins, A, 'The Woolhope Naturalists Field Club' in Herefordshire Churchyard Crosses, (1918), 117-118
Other
RCHM, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments of Herefordshire, (1932)

Source: Historic England

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