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Standing cross on The Green, 130m north west of The Bede House

A Scheduled Monument in Lyddington, Rutland

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.5647 / 52°33'53"N

Longitude: -0.7105 / 0°42'37"W

OS Eastings: 487502.935071

OS Northings: 297102.831478

OS Grid: SP875971

Mapcode National: GBR CSZ.16K

Mapcode Global: WHGM6.1SYP

Entry Name: Standing cross on The Green, 130m north west of The Bede House

Scheduled Date: 7 September 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019308

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31974

County: Rutland

Civil Parish: Lyddington

Built-Up Area: Lyddington

Traditional County: Rutland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Rutland

Church of England Parish: Lyddington St Andrew

Church of England Diocese: Peterborough

Details

The monument includes a standing cross situated on a mound on Lyddington
Green, located 130m north west of The Bede House.
The standing cross consists of a stone step, a socket stone, and a shaft
standing on a low grass covered mound measuring approximately 0.75m high by
approximately 6m in diameter. The cross is Listed Grade II.
The stone step is level with the surrounding surface level of the mound and
measures 1.38sq m. It supports a socket stone which measures 0.8sq m by 0.43m
high.
The shaft is rectangular and measures 0.37m by 0.26m. It is 0.95m high and is
mounted in the socket stone. The shaft is fluted, with traces of decoration on
the west and south faces. There is some damage on the east face of the shaft
and evidence of repair. A 0.9m by 0.6m slab is located on the mound west of
the cross, level with the surface and is believed to be a disturbed step. It
is included in the scheduling.

MAP EXTRACT
The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 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 standing cross on Lyddington Green survives as a well-preserved example of
a medieval wayside cross which is believed to stand near to its original
position. In addition to its primary function as a religious focus, it is
believed that it also served as the market cross for the medieval market which
was held in the village. The survival of the cross illustrates its continuing
importance to all passers-by and residents as a landscape feature.
The mound will be expected to preserve evidence for the construction and use
of the cross, in addition to structural details such as further steps.

Source: Historic England

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