Ancient Monuments

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Village cross, 150m south of St Mary's Church

A Scheduled Monument in Titchwell, Norfolk

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Latitude: 52.9619 / 52°57'42"N

Longitude: 0.6225 / 0°37'21"E

OS Eastings: 576236.842167

OS Northings: 343721.291284

OS Grid: TF762437

Mapcode National: GBR Q45.876

Mapcode Global: WHKP9.JTN6

Entry Name: Village cross, 150m south of St Mary's Church

Scheduled Date: 6 March 1957

Last Amended: 10 June 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018316

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31131

County: Norfolk

Civil Parish: Titchwell

Traditional County: Norfolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Norfolk

Church of England Parish: Titchwell with Choseley

Church of England Diocese: Norwich


The monument includes a standing stone cross and the circular earthen mound on
which it stands. It is located at the crossroads 150m to the south of St
Mary's Church. The cross, which is Listed Grade II*, is principally 15th
century in date with some later additions. It includes the earthen mound, the
brick base, the socket stone, the shaft and the capital.

The earthen mound stands to a height of approximately 1.5m and covers a
roughly circular area with a maximum diameter of 13m. The cross is located on
top of the mound. The base is constructed of five courses of bricks. It
measures 1.12m square at the foot and reduces upwards to a smaller square,
0.78m in width. The socket stone is mortared to the upper brick course. It
stands to a height of 0.48m and is 0.72m square at the base, rising through
defined chamfered corners with stop angles to an octagon on the upper surface.
The shaft, which is 0.3m square at the base and approximately 3m high, rises
through chamfered corners to a tapering octagonal section. At the top of the
shaft, and bonded to it with lead, is a moulded octagonal capital,
approximately 0.3m in diameter and 0.25m high. The full height of the cross in
its present form is approximately 4.15m.

The surface of the road to the north east of the mound and the surface of the
tarmac pathway to the south, where they fall within the monument's protective
margin, are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them is

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 150m south of St Mary's Church is a good example of a
medieval standing cross with a square to octagonal socket stone, and shaft
with an octagonal capital. Situated on a circular earthen mound immediately to
the north east of the crossroads, it is believed to stand in or near to its
original position.

The siting of the cross on an earthen mound is of additional interest. It is
believed to be contemporary with the cross and will retain archaeological
information concerning its construction and the manner and duration of its
use. Whilst most of the cross has survived from medieval times, subsequent
restoration has ensured its continued function as a public monument and

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Cozens-Hardy, , 'Norfolk Archaeology' in Norfolk Crosses, , Vol. 25, (1935), 327

Source: Historic England

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