Ancient Monuments

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Wayside cross 130m north of Crawford Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Tarrant Crawford, Dorset

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Latitude: 50.8239 / 50°49'26"N

Longitude: -2.1105 / 2°6'37"W

OS Eastings: 392309.789

OS Northings: 102715.785

OS Grid: ST923027

Mapcode National: GBR 318.76Z

Mapcode Global: FRA 66GX.HL9

Entry Name: Wayside cross 130m north of Crawford Farm

Scheduled Date: 24 July 2002

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020612

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33570

County: Dorset

Civil Parish: Tarrant Crawford

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Tarrant Keynston with Tarrant Crawford All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes the remains of a medieval wayside cross, at a road
junction, 130m north of Crawford Farm.
The cross, which is Listed Grade II, is of probable 15th century date, and
appears to be in its original position, although the archaeological
context may have been disturbed by road sufacing and the constuction of
the new stone steps on which the cross now sits. Pope, writing in 1906,
shows a photograph of the cross in this position with the surrounding area
stripped of turf in preparation for road surfacing.
The cross has a square socket stone, about 0.75 sq m in plan and 0.4m
high, with the lower part of a stone shaft, about 0.45 sq m in plan,
surviving to a height of 0.55m, set diagonally and secured with lead. In
1914 the cross was restored and the socket stone set on two stone steps
and a new upper shaft added. The new stone base bears the inscription
`This wayside cross was restored and set on new steps on the old site by
many friends of Tarrant Crawford Anno domini MDCCCCXIV'. The cross lies
within the hamlet of Tarrant Crawford which now consists of a small
cluster of houses around the road junction, although earthworks of former
house sites and closes can be seen in the adjacent fields west of the
cross. These are not included in this scheduling.
All road surfaces are excluded from the scheduling, where they fall within
the cross's 2m protective margin, although the ground beneath these
features is included.

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

Wayside crosses are one of several types of Christian cross erected during the
medieval period, mostly from the 9th to 15th centuries AD. In addition to
serving the function of reiterating and reinforcing the Christian faith
amongst those who passed the cross and of reassuring the traveller, wayside
crosses often fulfilled a role as waymarkers, especially in difficult and
otherwise unmarked terrain. The crosses might be on regularly used routes
linking ordinary settlements or on routes having a more specifically religious
function, including those providing access to religious sites for parishioners
and funeral processions, or marking long-distance routes frequented on
Over 350 wayside crosses are known nationally, concentrated in south west
England throughout Cornwall and on Dartmoor where they form the commonest type
of stone cross. A small group also occurs on the North York Moors. Relatively
few examples have been recorded elsewhere and these are generally confined to
remote moorland locations.
Outside Cornwall almost all wayside crosses take the form of a `Latin' cross,
in which the cross-head itself is shaped within the projecting arms of an
unenclosed cross. In Cornwall wayside crosses vary considerably in form and
decoration. The commonest type includes a round, or `wheel', head on the faces
of which various forms of cross or related designs were carved in relief or
incised, the spaces between the cross arms possibly pierced. The design was
sometimes supplemented with a relief figure of Christ and the shaft might bear
decorative panels and motifs. Less common forms in Cornwall include the
`Latin' cross and, much rarer, the simple slab with a low relief cross on both
faces. Rare examples of wheel-head and slab-form crosses also occur within the
North York Moors group. Most wayside crosses have either a simple socketed
base or show no evidence for a separate base at all.
Wayside crosses contribute significantly to our understanding of medieval
religious customs and sculptural traditions and to our knowledge of medieval
routeways and settlement patterns. All wayside crosses which survive as earth-
fast monuments, except those which are extremely damaged and removed from
their original locations, are considered worthy of protection.

Despite the fact that it has been raised onto new steps and the head
replaced, the wayside cross 130m north of Crawford Farm is relatively
well-preserved and, as it survives in its original location, it remains an
important example of its class.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume IV, (1972), 87
Pope, A, The Old Stone Crosses of Dorset, (1926), 132-133

Source: Historic England

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