Skip to main content


Please read our .

Authority English Heritage
Other Ref SM Cat. No. 150
Date assigned Thursday, January 12, 1961
Date last amended Wednesday, March 30, 1994


REASONS FOR DESIGNATION 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 pilgrimages. 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 with 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. Whibbersley Cross is a well-preserved example of a simple wayside cross set near to its original location on a path across open moorland. It is an unusual example in that it includes an integral shaft and cross head. It also lies outside the two main areas of distribution for wayside crosses. DETAILS The monument is situated on Leash Fen in the East Moors of the Derbyshire Peak District and is the medieval wayside cross known as Whibbersley Cross. It comprises a roughly chiselled gritstone shaft of rectangular section set into a rectangular socle or cross-base measuring 15cm high by 69cm north-south by 54cm east-west. The shaft measures 103cm high by 24cm north-south by 21cm east-west and includes an integral lozenge-shaped cross head which has the faint impression of a carved equal-armed cross on its east face. The cross is reputed originally to have stood some way south of its present location, next to the ancient route across Leash Fen which was superceded by the present turnpike road. It may also have served as a boundary cross marking the estate of Beauchief Abbey. SELECTED SOURCES Article Reference - Author: Heathcote, J.P. - Date: 1961 - Journal Title: Derbyshire Archaeological Journal - Volume: 81 - Page References: 136 - Type: DESC TEXT Article Reference - Author: Tudor, T.L. - Date: 1934 - Journal Title: Derbyshire Archaeological Journal - Volume: 55 - Page References: 67 - Type: DESC TEXT Article Reference - Author: Ward, G.H.B. - Date: 1920 - Journal Title: Transactions of the Hunter Archaeological Society - Volume: 2 - Page References: 140 - Type: DESC TEXT

External Links (0)

Sources (1)

  • Scheduling record: English Heritage. 1961. Scheduling Notification: Wayside cross known as Whibbersley Cross. List entry no. 1008611. SM Cat. No. 150.



Grid reference Centred SK 2958 7274 (4m by 3m)
Map sheet SK27SE

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Record last edited

Sep 6 2013 2:36PM

Comments and Feedback

Do you have any more information about this record? Please feel free to comment with information and photographs, or ask any questions, using the "Disqus" tool below. Comments are moderated, and we aim to respond/publish as soon as possible.