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: Standing cross at the Church of St James, Norton

List entry Number: 1012878

Location

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

County District District Type Parish
SheffieldMetropolitan Authority

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 12-Jun-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: 23388

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.

Though apparently missing its original cross shaft and socle, the base of the cross in St James's churchyard is reasonably well-preserved and is a visually impressive example of a stepped calvary, near to its original location in the churchyard.

History

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

Details

The monument is the medieval standing cross located in St James's churchyard, Norton. It includes a stepped base or calvary surmounted by a plinth and socket stone which in turn holds an octagonal shaft. The socket stone and shaft are less worn than the calvary and plinth and are of a different stone. They are therefore interpreted as 18th or 19th century replacements of medieval components removed in the 16th or 17th century. The calvary comprises four circular gritstone steps with a maximum diameter of c.3m and a total height of c.1.2m. The plinth is c.20cm thick and 1.2m square and is deeply chamfered round its top edge. The socket stone or socle is c.50cm high and measures c.1m in diameter. It is octagonal with pyramid stops on alternate faces. A deep groove is incised round its mid-point giving it a stepped appearance. The octagonal shaft is c.80cm tall and has a 20cm square pedestal and capital. The latter is broken on one side and includes, in the top, a hole for a metal pin. It is not clear whether this held a missing portion of a taller cross shaft or whether, as is equally possible, the extant shaft served as a sundial and the hole once held the gnomon. Excluded from the scheduling is the surface of the modern path which passes through the area of the scheduling on the west of the cross, although the ground beneath is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Selected Sources

  1. Other  Reference - Type: SMR - Description: PI 257
  2. Other  Reference - Author: Hill, Angela Shackleton - Date: 1994 - Type: PHOTO

National Grid Reference: SK 35881 82145

Map


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This copy shows the entry on 01-Oct-2014 at 09:25:05.