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Scheduled Monument: WAYSIDE CROSS WEST OF FOX LANE (1008613)

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Authority English Heritage
Other Ref SM Cat. No. 31
Date assigned Thursday, December 17, 1925
Date last amended Thursday, April 21, 1994

Description

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. The cross west of Fox Lane is a well-preserved example of a simple wayside cross set in its original location on a route across open moorland. It is unusual in that it includes an integral shaft and cross head but is generally similar in appearance to its partner on the opposite side of Fox Lane. It also lies outside the two main areas of distribution for wayside crosses. DETAILS The monument is the northernmost example of two medieval wayside crosses located on either side of Fox Lane approximately 450m apart. It comprises a chiselled gritstone shaft set into a roughly triangular socle or cross base measuring 118cm by 110cm by 94cm by 20cm high. The rectangular-sectioned shaft measures 175cm high by a maximum of 35cm north-south by 23cm east-west and includes the remains of an integral cross head which currently consists of the top section and the stumps of both arms beneath which the shaft is at its widest. The cross is prominently situated on the top of a natural knoll and is associated with a number of hollow ways which represent an ancient route across Ramsley Moor in the East Moors of the Peak District. Fox Lane is the modern successor of this ancient route. SELECTED SOURCES Article Reference - Author: Heathcote, J.P. - Date: 1961 - Journal Title: Derbyshire Archaeological Journal - Volume: 81 - Page References: 137 - Type: DESC TEXT Article Reference - Author: Ward, G.H.B. - Date: 1920 - Journal Title: Transactions of the Hunter Archaeological Society - Volume: 2 - Page References: 138-139 - Type: DESC TEXT

External Links (0)

Sources (1)

  • Scheduling record: English Heritage. 1925. Scheduling Notification: Wayside cross west of Fox Lane. List entry no. 1008613. SM Cat. No. 31.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SK 2954 7530 (6m by 6m)
Map sheet SK27NE
Civil Parish HOLMESFIELD, NORTH EAST DERBYSHIRE, DERBYSHIRE

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Record last edited

Oct 11 2013 4:24PM

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