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Edenhall Cross 230m north west of St Cuthbert's Church

A Scheduled Monument in Langwathby, Cumbria

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Coordinates

Latitude: 54.6833 / 54°40'59"N

Longitude: -2.6721 / 2°40'19"W

OS Eastings: 356766.897793

OS Northings: 532230.253281

OS Grid: NY567322

Mapcode National: GBR 9GS8.9Z

Mapcode Global: WH815.XKR3

Entry Name: Edenhall Cross 230m north west of St Cuthbert's Church

Scheduled Date: 24 November 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019726

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32876

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Langwathby

Traditional County: Cumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Edenhall St Cuthbert

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle

Details

The monument includes Edenhall Cross which consists of a cross shaft on a
medieval base and plinth. It is located on a roadside verge 230m north west of
St Cuthbert's Church and includes a medieval plinth of three steps measuring
2m square within which a cross base or socle is set. A 19th century tapering
cross shaft with a wheel-head has been set into the cross base. The plinth,
socle and shaft are all constructed of red sandstone. The cross is a Listed
Building Grade II.
All fence posts are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath
these features is included.

MAP EXTRACT
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.

Despite having a 19th century cross shaft inserted into the socle, Edenhall
Cross 230m north west of St Cuthbert's Church survives reasonably well and is
a good example of this class of monument. The medieval socle and plinth are
considered to be in the original location.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
DOE, List of Buildings of Historic & Architectural Interest,
SMR No. 986, Cumbria SMR, Edenhall Cross, (1984)

Source: Historic England

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