Ancient Monuments

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Standing cross immediately south of the Church of The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Middle Tysoe

A Scheduled Monument in Tysoe, Warwickshire

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Latitude: 52.0964 / 52°5'47"N

Longitude: -1.5035 / 1°30'12"W

OS Eastings: 434107.686328

OS Northings: 244347.409971

OS Grid: SP341443

Mapcode National: GBR 6QW.JPN

Mapcode Global: VHBYH.WKJR

Entry Name: Standing cross immediately south of the Church of The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Middle Tysoe

Scheduled Date: 9 March 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019661

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30091

County: Warwickshire

Civil Parish: Tysoe

Built-Up Area: Upper Tysoe

Traditional County: Warwickshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Warwickshire

Church of England Parish: Tysoe Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Church of England Diocese: Coventry


The monument includes a standing cross, located within the churchyard of The
Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church, approximately 20m south of the
nave of the church. The cross is of stepped form and is medieval in date. The
cross includes the foundations, the two steps, the socket stone, the shaft and
the cross head.
The steps are octagonal, with the lower step measuring approximately 2.8m wide
and 0.2m high. The upper step measures 2.3m wide and is 0.2m high. The socket
stone sits on a base block measuring 0.9sq m and 0.2m high. The socket stone
is square, tapering to octagonal and measures approximately 0.75sq m and at
least 0.4m high. The cross shaft, which is fluted bearing a rounded capitol,
measures 1.6m high, and is topped by a head carved to resemble an angel.
Although the upper portion is missing the head measures 0.5m high. The end of
the shaft is morticed into the socket.
The gravestones which fall within the monument's protective margin are
excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath them is included.

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 standing cross immediately south of the Church of The Assumption of the
Blessed Virgin Mary is a good example of a medieval standing cross with a
stepped base and socket stone. Situated in a prominent position close to the
south entrance to the church,it is believed to stand in or near its original
position. Its survival from the medieval period, illustrates the continued
function of the cross as a public landmark and amenity.

Source: Historic England

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