Ancient Monuments

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Standing cross in St Michael and All Angels' churchyard 32m north east of the church

A Scheduled Monument in Cadbury, Devon

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Latitude: 50.834 / 50°50'2"N

Longitude: -3.5476 / 3°32'51"W

OS Eastings: 291110.050069

OS Northings: 104972.415462

OS Grid: SS911049

Mapcode National: GBR LF.WWL2

Mapcode Global: FRA 36GW.MQS

Entry Name: Standing cross in St Michael and All Angels' churchyard 32m north east of the church

Scheduled Date: 9 March 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019704

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34259

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Cadbury

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Cadbury St Michael and All Angels

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


This monument includes a standing cross situated in the churchyard of
St Michael and All Angels, 32m north east of the church. The monument survives
as a socket stone and shaft, of a type thought to date to the 15th century,
with a modern head and arms. The socket stone is square at the base having
chamfered corners on the top to make it octagonal. It measures 0.95m square
and 0.4m high and contains a shaft. The shaft is 0.35m square at the base and
octagonal above and tapers upwards. The shaft has been repaired at a height of
0.82m. There is a half roll moulding encircling the shaft at a height of
1.42m. The original shaft has been remodelled at 1.77m high by the addition of
a 19th century replacement head and arms. Overall the cross stands at
approximately 2.4m high.
The cross is Listed Grade II.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

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 32m north east of St Michael and All Angel's church,
despite historic damage and more recent restoration, survives comparatively
well and is decorated with a collar-like detail around the shaft which is
found less commonly in Devon, since usually these are the more simple Latin
style crosses. Its position within the churchyard also indicates its long held
importance as a religious structure, since it is likely to be in its original

Source: Historic England


Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SS90SW24.1, (1989)

Source: Historic England

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