List entry

List entry Summary

This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Boundary cross, Old Fen Dike

List entry Number: 1010672

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County District District Type Parish
LincolnshireSouth HollandDistrict AuthoritySutton St. James

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 06-Jan-1995

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 22685

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

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. All crosses which survive as standing monuments, especially those which stand in or near their original location, are considered worthy of protection.

The remains of the medieval boundary cross at Old Fen Dike represent a good example of a standing cross with a quadrangular base. It stands near its original position on a former boundary of the parish of Sutton St James, being one of a rare group of medieval boundary markers in which only two other crosses survive. The cross has been little altered in modern times and has continued in use as a landmark from medieval times to the present day.

History

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Details

The monument includes a standing stone cross located on the eastern edge of the Old Fen Dike to the south west of the village of Sutton St James. The cross stands on a grass verge on the north west side of a crossroads. The cross is medieval in date and is constructed of limestone. The monument includes the base, comprising a socket stone, and part of the shaft.

The socket stone is constructed from a single limestone slab of square section. On the west side, where the ground slopes steeply towards the Old Fen Dike, it stands to a height of 0.35m above the ground surface, and is supported on a bed of modern concrete; on the south east side it is partially buried, the top of the stone lying approximately level with the ground surface of the roadside verge. The upper edge of the stone is chamfered. Set into the socket stone with lead is a shaft fragment, rectangular in section with crocketed angles and standing to a height of 0.9m. The cross is Listed Grade II.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 1 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Pevsner, N, John, H, The Buildings of England: Lincolnshire, (1964), 687
Davies, D S, 'Lincolnshire Notes & Queries' in Ancient Stone Crosses in Lindsey and Holland Divisions of Lincs, , Vol. XIII no7, (1915), 218
Stukeley, W, 'Itinerarium Curiosum' in Ivy Cross by Romans bank in Sutton St James Parish Holland Lincs, ()
Other
account of maps seen, 16th c + later, Losco-Bradley, P.M., FMW Report, (1988)
Jarvisgate, Sutton St James, Merrison, Ann, Green Gables, (1994)

National Grid Reference: TF 38103 17293

Map


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This copy shows the entry on 28-Nov-2014 at 01:27:04.