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Wayside cross at the north end of Whitecross Drift, 670m south west of Swangey Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Quidenham, Norfolk

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.4919 / 52°29'30"N

Longitude: 0.9603 / 0°57'37"E

OS Eastings: 601070.134171

OS Northings: 292339.557256

OS Grid: TM010923

Mapcode National: GBR SDW.PMM

Mapcode Global: VHKC3.LMJL

Entry Name: Wayside cross at the north end of Whitecross Drift, 670m south west of Swangey Farm

Scheduled Date: 29 September 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018311

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31114

County: Norfolk

Civil Parish: Quidenham

Traditional County: Norfolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Norfolk

Church of England Parish: Wilby All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Norwich

Details

The monument includes the remains of a standing stone cross located at the
north end of a narrow linear plantation known as Whitecross Drift and
approximately 10m south of a bend in the east-west aligned road. The cross,
which is Listed Grade II, dates from the 14th/15th century. It includes
the socket stone and the lower part of the shaft.

The socket stone, which is set into the ground, is square at the base and
rises through chamfered corners with stop angles to an octagonal section on
the surface. It measures 0.66m square by 0.3m high. The shaft is mortised
into the socket stone and bonded with lead. It measures 0.28m square in plan
and tapers upwards to a height of 0.36m. A mortise hole in the top of the
shaft has a diameter of 60mm and a depth of 50mm. The full height of the cross
in its present form is approximately 0.66m.

The cross stands on the parish boundary between the parishes of Snetterton and
Quidenham.

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 wayside cross at the northern end of Whitecross Drift is a good example of
a medieval standing cross with a square to octagonal socket stone and square
shaft. Located on the parish boundary and visible from the road the cross is
believed to stand on or near to its original position. The cross has not been
restored and has continued in use as a public monument and amenity from
medieval times until the present day.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Cozens-Hardy, , 'Norfolk Archaeology' in Norfolk Crosses, , Vol. 25, (1935), 312
Other
9159, Hargham Cossroads on A11, Quidenham,
9160, Rose, E, (1979)

Source: Historic England

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