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 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.
This example on Totley Moor, though lacking its shaft and cross head, is reasonably well preserved and important as one of the regional group of wayside crosses marking routes across the East Moors.
The monument is located on Totley Moor in the eastern gritstone moorlands of the Derbyshire Peak District and is the base or socle of a medieval wayside cross. It comprises a natural earthfast gritstone block which has possibly been roughly dressed in situ to give right-angled corners but otherwise lacks evidence of tooling except for the roughly square socket hole in the top. This socket hole, which measures c.25cm by 25cm by 15cm deep, would originally have housed a cross shaft but this component, together with the cross head, is missing, possibly due to the depredations of 16th or 17th century iconoclasts. The socle has an average height of c.40cm and measures 70cm on its north side, 50cm on its east and south sides and 60cm on its west side. It is located close to a track which may represent an ancient route across Totley Moor and Big Moor. It represents one of a group of wayside crosses associated with this area of the Peak District.
Book Reference - Author: Angela Shackleton Hill - Date: 1994 - Type: PHOTO - Description: for MPP