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Latitude: 52.0092 / 52°0'33"N
Longitude: -2.63 / 2°37'48"W
OS Eastings: 356851.785692
OS Northings: 234720.64367
OS Grid: SO568347
Mapcode National: GBR FP.HQ6L
Mapcode Global: VH85X.CRGL
Entry Name: Standing cross in St Cuthbert's churchyard
Scheduled Date: 12 January 2000
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1017256
English Heritage Legacy ID: 30083
Civil Parish: Holme Lacy
Traditional County: Herefordshire
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Herefordshire
Church of England Parish: Dinedor with Holme Lacy
Church of England Diocese: Hereford
The monument includes the buried and masonry remains of the medieval standing
cross, located 7.5m to the south of the church in St Cuthbert's churchyard.
Its position, close to the entrance on the south side of the church, suggests
that the cross remains in its original location. The cross, which is Listed
Grade II, is principally medieval in date, with some modern restoration, and
includes the foundation, steps, base, socket stone, shaft and the head. The
three steps are square in plan and decrease in size from the bottom step,
measuring 2m square and 0.5m high, to the top step measuring 0.75m across and
0.3m high. The socket stone is square chamfered to octagonal. It measures
0.75m across and is at least 0.5m high. The octagonal shaft survives in its
original form for approximately 0.75m. The remainder of the shaft and head of
the cross are modern restorations, and the full height of the cross is over
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
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 St Cuthbert's churchyard is located at or near to
its original position. Used for a variety of religious and secular activities,
it acted as a landmark and focus throughout the Middle Ages. Its survival and
restoration demonstrates that it has continued to act as a public amenity into
the modern period.
Source: Historic England
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