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Churchyard cross in St Mary and St Bartholomew's churchyard

A Scheduled Monument in Hampton in Arden, Solihull

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.4245 / 52°25'28"N

Longitude: -1.7028 / 1°42'9"W

OS Eastings: 420308.250002

OS Northings: 280770.250002

OS Grid: SP203807

Mapcode National: GBR 4HX.VR1

Mapcode Global: VHBWV.FBP5

Entry Name: Churchyard cross in St Mary and St Bartholomew's churchyard

Scheduled Date: 18 March 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017815

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30029

County: Solihull

Civil Parish: Hampton in Arden

Built-Up Area: Hampton in Arden

Traditional County: Warwickshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Midlands

Church of England Parish: Hampton-in-Arden

Church of England Diocese: Birmingham

Details

The monument includes a standing cross located within the churchyard of St
Mary and St Bartholomew's Church, approximately 20m east of the east end of
the church. The cross, which is Listed Grade II, is principally medieval in
date and includes the plinth, socket stone and shaft, and stands over 1m in
height.
The socket stone is octagonal in plan and is partly bonded to the plinth,
which is visible below the turf line. The socket stone measures 0.99m in
width, and is at least 0.45m high. It is decorated with panels on each face
bearing quatrefoil mouldings, five of which have shields in the centre. The
end of the shaft measures 0.3m square, and is morticed into the square socket.
The medieval cross shaft rises through chamfered corners to a tapering
octagonal section and survives to a height of approximately 0.69m. The top
edge of the shaft has a shallow hollow or socket carved in it.
The gravestones, where they fall within the cross's protective margin, 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 cross in St Mary and St Bartholomew's churchyard is a good example of a
medieval standing cross with an octagonal socket stone. Situated in a
prominent position close to the east end of the church, it is believed to
stand in or near its original position. Much of the cross survives from the
medieval period, and its importance is enhanced by the quality of decoration
remaining upon the socket stone.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
Various SMR Officers, Unpublished notes in SMR Office,

Source: Historic England

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