Ancient Monuments

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Standing cross 140m north of The Old Hall

A Scheduled Monument in Holme, Nottinghamshire

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Latitude: 53.123 / 53°7'22"N

Longitude: -0.8034 / 0°48'12"W

OS Eastings: 480171.943886

OS Northings: 359095.095517

OS Grid: SK801590

Mapcode National: GBR CL2.7NY

Mapcode Global: WHFH9.MRMP

Entry Name: Standing cross 140m north of The Old Hall

Scheduled Date: 24 July 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018130

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29921

County: Nottinghamshire

Civil Parish: Holme

Traditional County: Nottinghamshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Nottinghamshire

Church of England Parish: Holme

Church of England Diocese: Southwell and Nottingham


The monument includes the remains of a standing stone cross located on a grass
verge, just south of a crossroads in the centre of the village of Holme,
140m north of The Old Hall. The cross is medieval in date and includes a
socket stone and the remains of a shaft. It is Listed Grade II. The socket
stone, which stands 0.5m high, is square in plan with mouldings and the
corners and measures approximately 0.75m by 0.75m. The socket stone appears to
stand on a large earthfast rock, measuring approximately 1.5m along its
western edge, but this is almost entirely buried. Set into the socket stone is
a stone shaft which is octagonal in plan and survives to a height of 0.5m. The
cross head is now missing.
From the crossroads the western road leads down to the River Trent to a point
from where a ferry formerly transported passengers across the river to North
Muskham. Before `entering the peril of the waters' each passenger commended
themselves at the cross in Holme or North Muskham to the mercy of god. It is
believed that the cross was also used as a place where transactions relating
to the local wool trade were validated. A cross of identical form survives
directly opposite on the west side of the river at North Muskham and is the
subject of a separate scheduling.
The post and wire fence to the east of the cross is excluded from the
scheduling, although the ground beneath this is included.

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 remains of the standing cross at Holm is an example of a medieval cross
with a square socket stone and octagonal shaft. It is believed to stand in or
near its original position and limited activity immediately surrounding the
cross indicates that archaeological deposits relating to the monument's
construction and use are likely to survive intact. The value of this monument
is enhanced by the rare survival of documentation relating to its association
with the cross at North Muskham.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
'Transactions of the Thoroton Society' in North Muskham, (1905)

Source: Historic England

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