Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Churchyard cross in All Saints' churchyard

A Scheduled Monument in Peatling Magna, Leicestershire

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »
Street or Overhead View
Contributor Photos »

If Google Street View is available, the image is from the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the monument. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.

Coordinates

Latitude: 52.5269 / 52°31'36"N

Longitude: -1.1249 / 1°7'29"W

OS Eastings: 459465.184

OS Northings: 292478.475

OS Grid: SP594924

Mapcode National: GBR 8NT.JF0

Mapcode Global: VHCT1.GR56

Entry Name: Churchyard cross in All Saints' churchyard

Scheduled Date: 8 December 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017490

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30226

County: Leicestershire

Civil Parish: Peatling Magna

Traditional County: Leicestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Leicestershire

Church of England Parish: Peatling Magna All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Leicester

Details

The monument includes a standing stone cross located within the churchyard of
All Saints' Church, approximately 10m NNW of the north porch. The cross, which
is Listed Grade II, is of medieval and later date, and includes a gravel
plinth, a socket stone and part of a shaft.
The socket stone is approximately 0.8m square and 0.35m high with stepped
corner mouldings. Set into the centre of the socket is a stone shaft, 0.35m
high, of square section. The full surviving height of the cross is
approximately 0.7m. The socket stone and cross shaft are placed upon a modern
gravel plinth with kerb retainers.
The grave stone which lies immediately to the west of the cross and the
surface of the tarmac pathway immediately to the east are excluded from the
scheduling, although the ground beneath them 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 churchyard cross in All Saints' churchyard represents a good example of a
medieval standing cross marking a graveyard. Situated to the NNW of the north
porch it is believed to stand in or near its original position. Limited
activity in the area immediately surrounding the cross indicates that
archaeological deposits relating to the monument's construction in this
location will survive intact. The cross has not been restored and has
continued in use as a public monument and amenity from medieval times to the
present day.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Nichols, J, The History and Antiquities of the County of Leicester, (1805)
Other
Leicestershire County Council, 59 SE.AE,
Listing Report: SP 59 SE - 4/46,
RCHME, NMR Long Report: SP 59 SE 12,

Source: Historic England

Other nearby scheduled monuments

AncientMonuments.uk is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact AncientMonuments.uk for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself.

AncientMonuments.uk is a Good Stuff website.