Ancient Monuments

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Village cross at north west end of Cross Lane

A Scheduled Monument in Stanhoe, Norfolk

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.9004 / 52°54'1"N

Longitude: 0.6816 / 0°40'53"E

OS Eastings: 580460.760241

OS Northings: 337031.378522

OS Grid: TF804370

Mapcode National: GBR Q50.545

Mapcode Global: WHKPQ.FCS9

Entry Name: Village cross at north west end of Cross Lane

Scheduled Date: 29 September 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018319

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31144

County: Norfolk

Civil Parish: Stanhoe

Built-Up Area: Stanhoe

Traditional County: Norfolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Norfolk

Church of England Parish: Stanhoe All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Norwich

Details

The monument includes the remains of a standing stone cross, located on a
small raised island of grass in the centre of the road at the junction where
Cross Lane meets Docking Lane. The remains of the cross, which is Listed Grade
II, are medieval in date and include a single block of mortared flint rubble
which is believed to represent the core of the two stepped base and the socket
stone.

The base, which is roughly circular in plan, measures 1.4m in diameter and
0.72m high. There were once four steps which are now just discernable in the
matrix. The core of the socket stone, which is roughly square in shape and
constructed of the same mortared flint rubble as the base, is built onto the
base and measures 0.48m high by 0.97m in diameter. The full height of the
cross in its present form is approximately 1.2m.

The mortared flint matrix of both the base and socket stone would have
originally been faced with stone.

The surface of the road, where it falls within the monument's protective
margin is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath it is
included.

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 village cross at the north west end of Cross Lane is a good example of a
medieval standing cross with a stepped base and a socket stone. The cross is
thought to stand on or near to its original position. The composition of the
cross base (pebbles and flints mortared together) represents an unusual type
of which there are only a few visible examples known in the region, the most
famous being the Midsands Cross in Great Yarmouth. The cross is located 14km
to the west of, and is thought to stand along, the Pilgrimage route to Little
Walsingham and this gives it additional interest. It has not been
significantly restored but has continued in use as a public monument from
medieval times up to the present day.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Cozens-Hardy, , 'Norfolk Archaeology' in Norfolk Crosses, , Vol. 25, (1935), 326
Other
4/46, Cross base at north end of Cross Lane,

Source: Historic England

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