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Medieval wayside cross, 200m NNW of Brownrigg

A Scheduled Monument in Rochester, Northumberland

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.2466 / 55°14'47"N

Longitude: -2.2273 / 2°13'38"W

OS Eastings: 385647.875002

OS Northings: 594740.187502

OS Grid: NY856947

Mapcode National: GBR D7WS.L1

Mapcode Global: WHB0Y.RDL6

Entry Name: Medieval wayside cross, 200m NNW of Brownrigg

Scheduled Date: 31 March 1994

Last Amended: 24 October 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017596

English Heritage Legacy ID: 25027

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Rochester

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Otterburn St John the Evangelist

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle

Details

The monument includes the remains of a medieval cross, situated in a slight
hollow 20m west of Dere Street, the Roman road between Corbridge and Newstead
in Scotland. The cross survives as a stone base, sub-rectangular in shape and
measuring 0.5m by 0.4m; it is embedded in the ground but stands to a height of
0.2m above ground level. There is a central socket hole 0.1m square and 0.1m
deep. The position of the cross, alongside Dere Street which continued in use
during the medieval period, supports the view that it is a medieval wayside
cross; it may be associated with three other wayside crosses known as The
Golden Pots and likewise situated beside Dere Stree.

MAP EXTRACT
The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Wayside crosses are one of several types of Christian cross erected during the
medieval period, mostly from the 9th to 15th centuries AD. In addition to
serving the function of reiterating and reinforcing the Christian faith
amongst those who passed the cross and of reassuring the traveller, wayside
crosses often fulfilled a role as waymarkers, especially in difficult and
otherwise unmarked terrain. The crosses might be on regularly used routes
linking ordinary settlements or on routes having a more specifically religious
function, including those providing access to religious sites for parishioners
and funeral processions, or marking long-distance routes frequented on
pilgrimages.
Over 350 wayside crosses are known nationally, concentrated in south west
England throughout Cornwall and on Dartmoor where they form the commonest type
of stone cross. A small group also occurs on the North York Moors. Relatively
few examples have been recorded elsewhere and these are generally confined to
remote moorland locations.
Outside Cornwall almost all wayside crosses take the form of a `Latin' cross,
in which the cross-head itself is shaped within the projecting arms of an
unenclosed cross. In Cornwall wayside crosses vary considerably in form and
decoration. The commonest type includes a round, or `wheel', head on the faces
of which various forms of cross or related designs were carved in relief or
incised, the spaces between the cross arms possibly pierced. The design was
sometimes supplemented with a relief figure of Christ and the shaft might bear
decorative panels and motifs. Less common forms in Cornwall include the
`Latin' cross and, much rarer, the simple slab with a low relief cross on both
faces. Rare examples of wheel-head and slab-form crosses also occur within the
North York Moors group. Most wayside crosses have either a simple socketed
base or show no evidence for a separate base at all.
Wayside crosses contribute significantly to our understanding of medieval
religious customs and sculptural traditions and to our knowledge of medieval
routeways and settlement patterns. All wayside crosses which survive as earth-
fast monuments, except those which are extremely damaged and removed from
their original locations, are considered worthy of protection.


The medieval cross base 200m NNW of Brownrigg survives well in its original
position alongside a medieval routeway; the importance of the monument is
enhanced by the survival of at least two further crosses thought to lie along
the same medieval routeway.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Roy, W, Military Antiquities of the Romans in North Britain, (1793), 109
Honeyman, H L, 'Archaeologia Aeliana 4 ser 4' in The Golden Pots, (1927), 90-103
Other
NY 89 SE 33,

Source: Historic England

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