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Wayside cross 100m south east of Doniford Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Williton, Somerset

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.178 / 51°10'40"N

Longitude: -3.3055 / 3°18'19"W

OS Eastings: 308838.140071

OS Northings: 142897.361418

OS Grid: ST088428

Mapcode National: GBR LR.64DC

Mapcode Global: VH6GP.NNC9

Entry Name: Wayside cross 100m south east of Doniford Farm

Scheduled Date: 11 March 1977

Last Amended: 7 June 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019292

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33715

County: Somerset

Civil Parish: Williton

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset

Details

The monument includes a medieval cross located close to its original position
on the north side of the main village street through Doniford, at its junction
with the Williton road. It is Listed Grade II*.
Constructed of Red Sandstone, the remains of the original cross structure
include the socket stone and part of the shaft. The socket stone is 0.8m
square at its base, 0.35m high with broached upper corners and is surmounted
by the remaining 0.4m length of an octagonal shaft.
All fence posts are excluded from the scheduling where they fall within the
cross's 1m protective margin, although the ground beneath 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

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
pilgrimages.
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.

Despite surviving incomplete and weatherworn, the wayside cross 100m south
east of Doniford Farm is sited just a few metres from its original position
which was over The Swill, a stream which ran beneath it. It has been described
in antiquity as an example of an uncommon Water Cross and it continues to mark
a busy junction in the centre of the village.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Pooley, C, Old Stone Crosses of Somerset, (1877), 7,8

Source: Historic England

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