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Village cross at junction of Well Cross and King Edward's Way

A Scheduled Monument in Edith Weston, Rutland

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.637 / 52°38'13"N

Longitude: -0.6308 / 0°37'50"W

OS Eastings: 492756.000002

OS Northings: 305242.750002

OS Grid: SK927052

Mapcode National: GBR DTF.PCF

Mapcode Global: WHGLV.8ZW8

Entry Name: Village cross at junction of Well Cross and King Edward's Way

Scheduled Date: 23 December 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017497

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30234

County: Rutland

Civil Parish: Edith Weston

Built-Up Area: Edith Weston

Traditional County: Rutland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Rutland

Church of England Parish: Edith Weston St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Peterborough

Details

The monument includes the village cross at the junction of Well Cross and King
Edward's Way. The cross is a standing stone cross of medieval and later date
and is listed Grade II. It includes a plinth, a socket stone and the remains
of a shaft.
The plinth measures 1.9m square and is a modern replacement. The socket
stone rests on the plinth and is octagonal in plan, measuring approximately
0.75m by 0.75m and up to 0.3m high. A modern plaque is affixed to the eastern
side of the socket stone. Set into the centre of the socket stone is the
shaft, of square section at its base, rising through chamfered corners in
tapering octagonal section to a maximum height of 0.51m. The full height of
the cross is 0.81m. The shaft and the socket stone are thought to be of
medieval date.
The surface of the path, the road and the kerb 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 village cross at the junction of Well Cross and King Edward's Way
represents a good example of a medieval standing cross which is believed to
stand on or near its original position. Whilst much of the cross survives from
medieval times, subsequent replacement of the plinth and the attachment of a
commemorative plaque to the socket stone illustrates its continued function as
a public monument and amenity.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
Leicestershire County Council, 90 NW.BT,
Listing Report: SK 90 NW - 3/58,
RCHME, NMR Long Report: SK 90 NW 7,

Source: Historic England

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