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Medieval cross base

A Grade II Listed Building in Claughton, Lancashire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.8754 / 53°52'31"N

Longitude: -2.766 / 2°45'57"W

OS Eastings: 349734

OS Northings: 442402

OS Grid: SD497424

Mapcode National: GBR 9R3M.YJ

Mapcode Global: WH850.HV2F

Entry Name: Medieval cross base

Location: Claughton, Wyre, Lancashire, PR3

County: Lancashire

District: Wyre

Parish: Claughton

Traditional County: Lancashire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lancashire

Listing Date: 13 February 2017

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1442825

Summary

Cross base of medieval date.

Description

Cross base of medieval date.

The cross base is situated on a pavement on the S side of Joe Lane. The unfashioned sandstone boulder is c 0.7 m. square and of unknown depth. It has a centrally placed shallow socket in the top which is 0.3 m square and about 0.05m deep.


History

Wayside crosses are one of several types of Christian cross erected during the medieval period. 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. Most wayside crosses have either a simple socketed base or show no evidence for a separate base at all. It is relatively common for the shaft of the cross to be missing, with many losses thought to have been the victims of Iconoclasts in the C16 and C17.

The first edition 1:10560 Ordnance Survey map of the area (1847) marks a cross at the junction of Harrisons Lane and Joes Lane, annotated 'Part of a Stone Cross'. Subsequent maps also depict it in this location up to 1963 as 'Cross' and 'Cross (base of)' but it is absent from later maps. It was probably moved to its current position when the main road was widened. It is one of a small group of four cross bases in the vicinity, of which the other three examples are listed at Grade II. The church of St Helen, the largest medieval church in the area, lies within 2km NW of the group.

Reasons for Listing

* Date: despite the loss of the original shaft and head, this is a standing cross of medieval date;
* Historic interest: it illustrates well how some crosses served as wayside markers during the medieval period;
* Group value: it benefits from a spatial and functional group value with three other listed crosses in the vicinity.

Selected Sources

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