Scheduled Monument: STANDING CROSS (1011756)

Please read our .

Authority English Heritage
Other Ref SM Cat. No. 271
Date assigned Thursday, April 9, 1981
Date last amended Friday, May 5, 1995


REASONS FOR DESIGNATION 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. A11 crosses which survive as standing monuments, especially those which stand in or near their original location, are considered worthy of protection. Though missing its original shaft, socle and cross head, the Barlborough cross is important because it is still in its original location and thus preserves the medieval land surface underneath. The later components are very well-preserved and are of art-historical importance in their own right. DETAILS The monument is the standing cross located at the junction of High Street, Church Street and Park Street, Barlborough. The remains include the sandstone base of a medieval cross, and the components of an 18th century cross which include the cross shaft, the socket stone or socle and the step beneath the socle. These components have replaced original medieval features which may have been removed during the 16th or 17th century by religious iconoclasts. The medieval base, which is octagonal and forms the bottom step of the current cross, has an overall diameter of about 2m and is surrounded by bollards set into a modern paved traffic island. The upper step and socle are also octagonal and the latter has pyramid stops on alternate faces. Together, the steps and socle are approximately 1.5m high. The Tuscan style columnar shaft sits on a square pedestal with chamfered angles which is leaded into a square socket hole. The shaft is c.2m high and surmounted by a rectangular knop above which is a ball finial and a metal cross. Sundials with intact metal gnomons are inlaid in the south, west and east faces of the knop and a surveyor's bench mark is inscribed into the south side of the upper step. In addition to being scheduled, the cross is Listed Grade II*. The traffic island and the surrounding modern road surface are excluded from the scheduling although the ground underneath is included. SELECTED SOURCES Book Reference - Title: A History of Barlborough - Type: MENTION - Description: Pamphlet Book Reference - Author: Angela Shackleton Hill - Date: 1993 - Type: PHOTO - Description: On EH file Book Reference - Author: Mee, A. - Title: Derbyshire - Date: 1937 - Page References: 37 - Type: DESC TEXT Book Reference - Author: Pevsner, N and Williamson, E - Title: The Buildings of England: Derbyshire - Date: 1978 - Page References: 83 - Type: DESC TEXT Book Reference - Author: Pickering, G. - Title: Barlborough Cross, 1785 - Type: ILLUSTRATION - Description: Watercolour after S.H. Grimm

External Links (0)

Sources (1)

  • Scheduling record: English Heritage. 1981. Scheduling Notification: Standing Cross. List entry no. 1011756. SM Cat. No. 271.



Grid reference Centred SK 4761 7727 (8m by 8m)
Map sheet SK47NE

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Record last edited

Sep 4 2013 11:19AM

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.