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Churchyard cross in St Cuthbert's churchyard

A Scheduled Monument in Shustoke, Warwickshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.5162 / 52°30'58"N

Longitude: -1.6432 / 1°38'35"W

OS Eastings: 424307.133001

OS Northings: 290978.390001

OS Grid: SP243909

Mapcode National: GBR 5JB.CC6

Mapcode Global: VHBWH.G0NY

Entry Name: Churchyard cross in St Cuthbert's churchyard

Scheduled Date: 9 May 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020291

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33144

County: Warwickshire

Civil Parish: Shustoke

Traditional County: Warwickshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Warwickshire

Church of England Parish: Whitacres, Lea Marston and Shustoke

Church of England Diocese: Birmingham

Details

The monument includes the remains of a standing stone cross located in St
Cuthbert's churchyard approximately 4m to the south east of the south porch.
The cross is medieval in date and includes the socket stone and the shaft, all
of sandstone. It is Listed Grade II.

The base of the cross takes the form of a square socket-stone measuring 0.75m
in width and standing 0.25m in height. Fixed into the socket-stone is the
lower part of the shaft, square in section at the base and rising through
chamfered corners in tapering octagonal section to a height of 1.2m. Formerly
fixed to the shaft would have been a cross-head, now destroyed.

There are a number of regularly spaced circular holes on the south face of the
shaft. A series of grooves radiate from one of the holes indicating that it
was reused as a sundial in the post-medieval period.

The gravestones which lie immediately on each side of the cross, including a
chest tomb which is Listed Grade II, and all fence posts are excluded from the
scheduling, although the ground beneath them is included.

MAP EXTRACT
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 remains of the churchyard cross in St Cuthbert's churchyard represent a
good example of a medieval standing cross with a square base and octagonal
shaft. Situated to the south east of the south porch, it is believed to stand
in its original position. The churchyard is raised considerably above the path
adjacent to the church, suggesting a high level of survival for archaeological
deposits.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
DOE, List of Buildings of Historic & Architectural Interest,

Source: Historic England

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