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Churchyard cross 40m north west of St Mary's Church

A Scheduled Monument in Wick, Worcestershire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.1061 / 52°6'21"N

Longitude: -2.0563 / 2°3'22"W

OS Eastings: 396238.973347

OS Northings: 245309.884986

OS Grid: SO962453

Mapcode National: GBR 2JN.WFR

Mapcode Global: VHB0R.9BR9

Entry Name: Churchyard cross 40m north west of St Mary's Church

Scheduled Date: 24 October 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016337

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29875

County: Worcestershire

Civil Parish: Wick

Built-Up Area: Wick

Traditional County: Worcestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Worcestershire

Church of England Parish: Wick

Church of England Diocese: Worcester

Details

The monument includes the remains of a standing stone cross located to the
north west of the churchyard of St Mary's Church, approximately 25m from the
north porch. The cross, which is Listed Grade II, is principally medieval in
date with later additions. It is of stepped form and includes a base of three
steps and a socket stone, and the shaft.
The steps are rectangular in plan and are constructed from large sandstone
blocks bonded together with mortar. The bottom step measures approximately
2.45m by 2.35m. The steps rise to a height of 1.2m. An inscription in Latin on
the middle step is thought to have been added when work was carried out on the
cross in 1911. The socket stone rests on the uppermost step, it is square in
plan rising through chamfered corners to a moulded octagon and measures 0.83m
square and 0.7m high. The shaft is mortared onto the top of the socket stone.
It is 0.28m square in section at the base rising through chamfered corners in
tapering octagonal section to a height of approximately 3m. A rounded capstone
sits at the top of the shaft, making the full height of the cross
approximately 4.9m.
The fence around 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.
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 remains of the churchyard cross to the north west of St Mary's Church
represent a good example of a medieval standing cross with a square stepped
base. Situated to the north west of the north porch it is believed to stand in
or near to its original position. While much 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

Sources

Books and journals
Montgomerie, D H, The Victoria History of the County of Worcestershire, (1924), 165
Other
Descriptive text within church, Stone Cross Head inside St. Mary's church, Wick,

Source: Historic England

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