Ancient Monuments

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Wayside cross 190m south west of Crossgates Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Pentney, Norfolk

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Latitude: 52.6908 / 52°41'27"N

Longitude: 0.5389 / 0°32'19"E

OS Eastings: 571685.647523

OS Northings: 313375.20887

OS Grid: TF716133

Mapcode National: GBR P60.C1M

Mapcode Global: WHKQM.7MVH

Entry Name: Wayside cross 190m south west of Crossgates Farm

Scheduled Date: 12 April 1926

Last Amended: 3 April 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018298

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31128

County: Norfolk

Civil Parish: Pentney

Traditional County: Norfolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Norfolk

Church of England Parish: Pentney

Church of England Diocese: Norwich


The monument includes a stone cross located 600m south west of St Mary
Magdalene's Church and some 2km north east of Pentney Priory. It stands 16m
south of the road which runs between the church and the priory. The cross,
which is Listed Grade II, is 14th century in date with some later additions.
It includes the foundation, the cruciform base with the exposed flint core,
the square stone platform, the socket stone and the shaft.

The cross is a highly elaborate structure. The foundation was examined in part
during restoration work and is thought to be roughly circular in plan. It is
constructed of flint and mortar rubble and lies approximately 0.2m below the
present ground surface. The cruciform base has an overall width of 1.8m and
comprises four buttresses constructed of mortared flint with steeply sloping
upper surfaces capped with limestone blocks. It is thought that the ends of
the buttresses were also faced with stone down to the ground level, but much
of this stone has since been removed. A square platform, made up of three
courses of stone, is set diagonally onto the buttresses with four trefoil
headed arches cut into the angles between the buttresses. The top course of
stones is chamfered and supports the socket stone. The full height of the base
and platform is 1.95m. The socket stone is square to octagonal with ball-
shaped ornaments on the top four corners and beading around the upper surface.
It measures 0.4m square by 0.5m deep. The shaft is mortised into the socket
stone and bonded with lead. It measures 0.35m square at the base and
approximately 2.5m in height rising through chamfered corners to a tapering
octagonal section. The full height of the cross in its present form is
approximately 4.95m.

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

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
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 wayside cross 190m south west of Crossgates Farm is a good example of a
medieval cross with a cruciform base, a square to octagonal socket stone and a
tapering shaft. Situated 16m to the south of the road which leads from the
village church of St Mary Magdalene to Pentney Priory it is believed to stand
in or near to its original position. Most of the cross has survived from
medieval times and subsequent restoration has resulted in its continual
function as a public monument and amenity. The form of the cross is unusual
and this gives additional interest.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Cozens-Hardy, , 'Norfolk Archaeology' in Norfolk Crosses, , Vol. 25, (1935), 323
Heywood, S, Pentney Cross, 1994, paper in SMR file

Source: Historic England

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