Ancient Monuments

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Churchyard cross 20m south of St Peter and St Paul's Church

A Scheduled Monument in Stallingborough, North East Lincolnshire

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Latitude: 53.5893 / 53°35'21"N

Longitude: -0.1962 / 0°11'46"W

OS Eastings: 519494.52

OS Northings: 411818.876

OS Grid: TA194118

Mapcode National: GBR WV2Y.B1

Mapcode Global: WHHHQ.Y1RN

Entry Name: Churchyard cross 20m south of St Peter and St Paul's Church

Scheduled Date: 20 July 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020023

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34706

County: North East Lincolnshire

Civil Parish: Stallingborough

Built-Up Area: Stallingborough

Traditional County: Lincolnshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire

Church of England Parish: Stallingborough St Peter and St Paul

Church of England Diocese: Lincoln


The monument includes a medieval churchyard cross and associated buried
remains in the churchyard of St Peter and St Paul's Church, Stallingborough.
This cross is Listed Grade II. The area around the churchyard, retaining
earthworks of the medieval settlement, is the subject of a separate
Although a church at Stallingborough was mentioned in the Domesday Book of
1087, the current building dates to 1779-1781 and was a replacement for the
earlier church whose nave and tower collapsed in 1746. The cross is sited
nearly 20m south of the west end of the church, in line with the earthworks of
a hollow way which approaches the churchyard from the south west. The cross
base is a simple square socket stone, 0.7 sq m, its surface nearly flush
with the surrounding ground surface. Neatly fitted into this, using lead
filling, is the cross shaft, 0.3 sq m. This shaft, which leans slightly to
the south, is shaped with chamfered corners with lower broach stops. The shaft
has been truncated at a height of 1.2m, just above a raised inscribed plaque
on the south face. The inscription on this plaque is no longer legible, and
was not even readable in 1915 when a description of the cross was published in
by Canon D S Davies. Fixed to the top of the truncated shaft is a finely
finished inscribed sundial, 0.4m in diameter, that is dated 1725. The sundial
is no longer functional as all that remains of the iron upright which cast the
shadow on the dial, is a corroded stump.
The scheduling also includes a margin around the cross base designed to
protect any associated buried features such as supporting steps, foundations
and buried deposits.

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.

St Peter and St Paul's churchyard cross is a good example of a simple
medieval cross. The addition of an early 18th century sundial adds to its
interest, as does the nearby survival of earthwork remains of the associated
medieval settlement.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Davies, D S, 'Lincolnshire Notes & Queries' in Ancient Stone Crosses in Lindsey and Holland Divisions of Lincs, , Vol. XIII no7, (1915), 215

Source: Historic England

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