Ancient Monuments

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Village cross, 30m south of Cross Hill Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Wormegay, Norfolk

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Latitude: 52.6785 / 52°40'42"N

Longitude: 0.46 / 0°27'35"E

OS Eastings: 566400.042803

OS Northings: 311814.719408

OS Grid: TF664118

Mapcode National: GBR P63.33N

Mapcode Global: WHKQL.1X9Z

Entry Name: Village cross, 30m south of Cross Hill Farm

Scheduled Date: 20 September 1956

Last Amended: 19 March 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018107

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31122

County: Norfolk

Civil Parish: Wormegay

Traditional County: Norfolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Norfolk

Church of England Parish: Wormegay St Michael and All Angels and Holy Cross

Church of England Diocese: Ely


The monument includes the remains of a standing stone cross, located on the
village green to the east of the junction between Front Street, Cow Lane and
Castle Road. The cross is thought to mark the route to the village church,
which is located approximately 1km to the ENE. The cross, which is Listed
Grade II, is principally 14th century in date with some later additions. It
includes the single stepped base, the socket stone and the lower part of the

The single stepped base is square in plan and constructed of three courses of
stone blocks. It measures 1.86m square by 0.48m high. The socket stone rests
on the step, and is made up of two separate stones, one immediately above the
other. The bottom stone measures 0.74m square at the base and rises through
chamfered corners with weathered stop angles to an octagonal section on the
surface. It has a height of 0.5m. The upper stone is mortared to the lower
stone and is square in plan with chamfered corners at the top. It measures
0.5m by 0.4m high. The base of the shaft is mortared into the upper part of
the socket stone. It is 0.28m square at the base and rises through chamfered
corners to an octagonal section. It is broken off at a height of 0.88m. The
full height of the cross in its present form is approximately 2.26m.

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 Wormegay is a good example of a medieval standing cross
with a square stepped base, a square to octagonal socket stone and a square to
octagonal shaft. Situated on the village green and at a junction where one of
the roads leads to the village church it is believed to stand on or near to
its original position. The re-erection of the cross using stones, many
of medieval origin, collected from around the village and the subsequent
restoration of the base in 1868 illustrates the continued function of the
cross as a public monument and amenity.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Cozens-Hardy, , 'Norfolk Archaeology' in Norfolk Crosses, , Vol. 25, (1935), 331

Source: Historic England

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