Shropshire History

Shropshire

Stones Crosses

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Preaching Cross - many stone crosses were set up by the Saxons from the 8th Century onwards, although the practice reduced after the Norman invasion. These can be identified by the circular halo surrounding the cross element. It is thought that they marked places where people came together for religious purposes, as there were not so many churches in remote areas. They were also used by travellers who prayed there for a safe journey. It is possible that they may have been put up at sites which were already regarded as sacred in pagan worship. The early Christian Church attempted to wipe out all traces of other religions and one way was to take over their sites. Churches were often subsequently built at these sites and many such crosses can be found today in churchyards.

 

Wayside Cross – some crosses were markers at places where paths or parish boundaries intersected. Being taller than the surrounding vegetation made them easy to spot.

 

Butter (Market) Cross – these crosses marked the point where a food market was held to sell such produce as bread, butter, eggs and milk. Usually this was in the centre of a town but some markets took place in the countryside. Sometimes they were covered over with a roof but the sides were left open so stallholders could keep their goods dry in wet weather.

 

Many stone crosses have disappeared over the years, either because they were no longer required or vandalised. During the English Civil War, roundhead soldiers often defaced or broke crosses which they regarded as sacrilegious.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gazetteer of Sites

 

Name

Location

Grid Reference

Notes

Benthall Cross

Cardeston

SJ40031341

15th Century wayside cross. All that remains is an L-shaped lump of red sandstone, probably part of the stepped base. There have been other theories that it is possibly only a horse mounting block but why have it here.

 

Bitterley Cross

Bitterley

 

SO571773

14th Century cross in churchyard of St Mary’s. Said to be the best surviving cross in Shropshire.

 

Botfeld Cross

Anchor

SO203869

 

In 1691, a pedlar called William Cantlin was found dead on Shadwell Hill. A stone was placed on the spot where he died with the inscription “W.C. DECSED HERE BURIED 1691 AT BETVS”. In 1858, local MP Beriah Botfield placed a large celtic cross near the site to commemorate the incident and the Cantlin Stone was placed at the base of the cross to act as a boundary stone between the parishes of Betws and Clun. The Botfield Cross fell over in a storm and broke in two and was replaced by a replica in 1997. The pieces of the original cross can now be seen in Betws churchyard.

 

Butter Cross

Cleobury Mortimer

SO67287573

 

Stub of a cross located in the High Street.

 

Butter Cross

Hampton Loade

SO75258574

Round head has traces of a Maltese cross on each face. Supposed to mark the site of an ancient open air market place but it is almost a mile from the village so probably a boundary cross. It stands on the verge near a crossroads and one road leads to an ancient mill. Another theory is that it dates back to the time of the Black Death when it was a place for food to be left for the village when it was quarantined.

 

Butter Cross

Heath Hill

SJ76521385

Medieval wayside cross.

 

Butter Cross

Pitchford

SJ52960386

Old cross now standing near a track leading to Pitchford Hall to the west of the former Pitchford School. Probably moved to its present location at the time of George Devey's work at Pitchford Hall in the 1870s.

 

Butter Cross

Tong Norton

SJ79180811

Medieval wayside cross, situated on the forecourt of The Bell public house. It is now surrounded by a kerb after it had to be repaired following a lorry impact. It is made of sandstone, with a square base, 2 steps and a tapered square obelisk above. Inscribed to East "Brewood 6 Lichfield 21" to South "Albrighton 10 London 134" to West "Shifnal 3 Salop 21" to North "Newport 8 Chester 49".

 

Cadogan’s Cross

Shrewsbury

SJ48381294

Mentioned in a Shrewsbury Abbey charter dated 1245, associated with a chapel, fortification and inn. It is probable that the cross and chapel would have been wayside features closely associated to a main road.

 

Combatch Cross

 

Church Stretton

SO4894

A demolished wayside cross that marked the boundary between Hope Bowdler and Church Stretton parishes was mentioned in 1609 and 1622.

 

Croeswylan Cross

 

Oswestry

SJ28752878

 

14th Century sandstone cross moved from original location at SJ28762879.

 

High Cross

Bridgnorth

SO71639316

 

Medieval market cross near to the 17th Century town hall. By 1600, a High Cross was situated opposite the top of Hungary Street but was pulled down in 1645.

 

High Cross

Ludlow

 

SO51147465

Medieval market cross mentioned in 1586, roofed with open sides and containing a cistern. It stood at the head of Broad Street South and slightly west of the present Butter Cross at the end of the row of houses which stretched towards the Market Hall. It probably replaced an earlier stone cross. It was demolished in 1744, when the conduit was moved to a site in Church Street.

 

High Cross

Shrewsbury

 

SJ492126

This long-lost market cross was located close to the middle of Shrewsbury, “at the junction of Pride Hill, Castle Street and St Mary’s Street,” according to the 1902 OS-map of the region. It was erected in the 12th Century and by 1557 it was described as the “Hye Crosse”.  It was also a place of execution and in 1283 Prince Dafydd III of Wales was put to death there by Edward I following an insurrection. Many of the nobility who were captured at the Battle of Shrewsbury were executed there. After the same battle, the dead body of Harry Hotspur was exhumed and brought there, where it was beheaded and quartered.

 

Hoar Edge Cross

Doddington

SO60267702

 

The Three Forked Pole was the most prominent feature on a map of 1571, being near where a cross formerly stood. It was on Titterstone Clee Hill at a height at 450m and divided the parishes of Bitterley, Hopton and Coreley.

 

Holy Cross

Shrewsbury

SJ49661240

 

Cross mentioned in 13th Century and said to have stood near the abbey end of the English Bridge. Demolished by 1638.

 

Lawless Cross

Farley

 

SJ637032

Medieval cross now gone but in area now known as Lawley's Cross. It once stood at the boundary of the domains of Buildwas Abbey and Wenlock Abbey, also reputed to be the resort of outlaws.

 

Market Cross

Adderley

 

SJ66193978

A market cross stood at the corner where Rectory Lane branches off. The cross shaft was broken off by the Puritans and was used for a sundial when Adderley Hall was built.

 

Market Cross

Albrighton

SJ81270416

 

Old cross referred to in early 19th Century but now gone.

 

Market Cross

Bridgnorth

SO72019300

 

Shown on 17th Century map of the town and probably marked a separate market space for the Low Town. Demolished by 1835.

 

Market Cross

Condover

 

SJ49340588

A stone cross which formerly stood on the green was demolished in 1586.

 

Market Cross

Cressage

 

SJ59150416

The small green in the centre of the village is the traditional site of Christs Oak. A stone cross is said to have stood here in the Middle Ages but by the 18th Century it had been replaced by a circular wooden structure known as the Market Cross. This was demolished in the early 18th Century.

 

Market Cross

Oswestry

SJ290296

 

Medieval cross in Cross Street referred to in 1559. It was removed by the corporation in 1762.

 

Old Butter Cross

Pickstock

 

SJ72722300

Remains of a medieval cross.

Preaching Cross

Albrighton

SJ80940441

 

Medieval cross in churchyard of St Mary Magdalene's.

 

Preaching Cross

Alderbury

 

SJ3586 1443

Medieval cross in churchyard of St Michael & All Angels.

 

Preaching Cross

Alveley

 

SO75968453

Medieval cross in churchyard of St Mary’s.

Preaching Cross

Badger

 

SO76839962

14th Century cross in churchyard of St Giles.

 

Preaching Cross

Boningale

SJ81170259

 

Medieval cross in churchyard of St Chad's.

 

Preaching Cross

Burford

 

SO58356802

14th Century cross, restored in 1867, in churchyard of St Mary’s.

 

Preaching Cross

Caynham

 

SO55397327

Medieval cross in churchyard of St Mary’s. The base is decorated on one side with a shield showing passion nails supported by angels. The decoration on the other sides is badly worn but there seems to have been angel or human heads or torsos at the corners

 

Preaching Cross

Chelmarsh

 

SO72058784

 

Medieval cross in churchyard of St Peter's.

Preaching Cross

 

Chetton

 

SO66409036

Medieval cross in churchyard of St Giles.

Preaching Cross

Child’s Ercall

 

SJ66562508

Medieval cross in churchyard of St Michael’s, converted into a sundial in 1773.

 

Preaching Cross

Church Stretton

SO45249366

 

Medieval cross in churchyard of St Lawrence’s with a later added sundial.

 

Preaching Cross

Claverley

 

SO79299339

14th Century cross in churchyard of All Saints.

 

Preaching Cross

Clungunford

SO39497872

 

Medieval cross in churchyard of St Cuthbert's.

 

Preaching Cross

Cound

 

SJ55820498

1th Century cross in churchyard of St Peter’s.

 

Preaching Cross

Donington

SJ80880464

 

14th Century cross in churchyard of St Cuthbert's.

 

Preaching Cross

 

Dudleston

SJ34623843

14th Century cross in churchyard of St Mary’s.

 

Preaching Cross

Ellesmere

 

SJ40243477

Saxon cross dating from 750-850 AD that was once on the churchyard of St Mary’s. It was moved to the vicarage garden, then built into a garden wall and finally used as hardcore beneath the floor of the old vicarage dining room.

 

Preaching Cross

Great Ness

 

SJ39771902

14th Century cross in churchyard of St Andrew’s.

 

Preaching Cross

High Ercall

SJ59481730

 

Medieval cross in churchyard of St Michael and All Angels, with later added sundial.

 

Preaching Cross

Highley

 

SO74138326

Medieval cross in churchyard of St Mary’s.

Preaching Cross

Holdgate

SO56138958

 

Old cross in churchyard of Holy Trinity with a later added sundial.

 

Preaching Cross

Ightfield

 

SJ59253866

Medieval cross in churchyard of St John the Baptist.

 

Preaching Cross

Kinlet

SO71078101

 

Medieval cross that was in the churchyard of St John the Baptist. It was replaced by a standard War Graves Commission cross in 1920. This bears the inscription “To the honoured memory of those sailors and soldiers who gave their lives for their Country in the Great War 1914-1918 and who lie buried in this cemetery of whom these four have no separate headstones. Their name liveth for evermore. If ye break faith with us who died we shall not sleep, though poppies bloom in Flanders fields”.

 

Preaching Cross

Kinnerley

SJ33842094

 

Remains of a 15th Century cross and steps, made of sandstone. The shaft has a brass sundial fixed to top inscribed "R. Bottrell E. Downes C. WARDENS A. D. 1828”.

 

Preaching Cross

Little Ness

 

SJ40761988

Medieval cross in churchyard of St Martin’s.

Preaching Cross

Morville

 

SO66979388

Medieval cross in churchyard of St Gregory’s.

 

Preaching Cross

Much Wenlock

 

SO62379998

Medieval cross in churchyard of Holy Trinity.

 

Preaching Cross

Norton-in-Hales

 

SJ70363866

15th Century cross in churchyard of St Chad’s.

 

Preaching Cross

Preston Gubbals

SJ49191960

 

Medieval cross in the churchyard of St Martin's Church. It has a 17th Century copper sundial inscribed “1638/WG”.

 

Preaching Cross

Quatt

 

SO75648820

Medieval cross in churchyard of St Andrew’s adapted to carry a sundial.

 

Preaching Cross

Ruyton-XI-Towns

 

SJ39482215

Medieval cross in churchyard of St John the Baptist with later added sundial.

 

Preaching Cross

Sheriffhales

 

SJ75821206

Medieval cross in churchyard of St Mary’s with later added sundial.

 

Preaching Cross

Shrewsbury

SJ49161232

In 1583, when the stone cross which stood in Old St Chad's churchyard was taken down, a stone was found on which was engraved a butcher's axe and knife, whence it was concluded that the Company of Butchers had paid for it.

 

Preaching Cross

Shrewsbury

 

SJ50721182

Medieval cross in churchyard of St Giles.

Preaching Cross

Tong

SJ79560737

 

15th Century cross in St Bartholomew's churchyard. The corners of the socket stone are decorated with carved heads and the shaft has been adapted to support a sundial.

 

Preaching Cross

Whitton

 

SO57607285

Medieval cross in the churchyard of St Mary the Virgin.

 

Preaching Cross

Worfield

 

SO75819579

Medieval cross in the churchyard of St Peter’s.

 

Preaching Cross

Wroxeter

 

SJ56330825

Part of a 9th Century cross built into the south wall of the nave of St Andrew’s. Another part stands in the rockery in front of the nearby Wroxeter Hotel.

 

Preaching Cross

Yorton

SJ50112395

 

Remains of 15th Century sandstone cross next to ruins of the former church of St Mary’s which was abandoned and partly demolished in 1858.

 

Pulestone Cross

Newport

SJ74521915

 

A wooden Butter Cross was erected by Richard Barnfield in 1632 but this was destroyed in the fire of 1665. It was a memorial for the soul of Sir Roger de Puleston who was killed in Wales where he had been sent by the King to collect taxes after the Welsh uprising. He had persuaded the King to let the Burgesses of Newport have a covered market. In 1668 Thomas Talbot built a new Butter Cross on the High Street but this was demolished when the Town Hall and Market were built in 1860.

 

St Oswald’s Cross

Oswestry

SJ280290

Celtic Cross in the churchyard of St Oswald King and Martyr.

 

Stanton Cross

Stanton upon Hine Heath

 

SJ568238

A cross that stands just outside the churchyard walls with a sundial attached.

 

Tipping Cross

Bridgnorth

SO72299346

 

Wayside cross marked on a 17th Century map of Bridgnorth. It presumably marked the edge of the borough but has now gone.

 

Wayside Cross

Allscott

 

SJ613128

Medieval cross identified by field names but now gone.

 

Wayside Cross

Bishop’s Wood

SJ832094

 

Possible site of cross indicated by field name.

 

Wayside Cross

Chapel Lawn

 

SO31487688

Medieval cross shown on tithe map but now gone.

 

Wayside Cross

Cruckmeole

 

SJ42800899

Medieval cross shown on tithe map but now gone.

 

Wayside Cross

Ludlow

 

SO511754

A mound near Corve Bridge where a cross formerly stood.

 

Wayside Cross

Obley

 

SO32687742

Medieval cross shown on tithe map but now gone.

 

Wayside Cross

Pentre Hodre

 

SO31707678

Medieval cross shown on tithe map but now gone.

 

Wayside Cross

Rodway

 

SJ65731818

Old cross shown on Duke of Sutherland’s 1608 map. Now gone.

 

Wayside Cross

Ruyton-XI-Towns

SJ39152227

Late 19th Century cross made of red sandstone ashlar and painted wrought iron. 20th Century plate on east side states that the cross stands on the site of the lock-up of the "ancient manor and borough of Ruyton".

 

Wayside Cross

Shrewsbury

 

SJ49401292

A cross was located at the junction of Castle Foregate and Chester Street in the late 16th Century but is now gone.

 

Wayside Cross

Stowe

 

SO31147472

Medieval cross shown on tithe map but now gone.

 

Wayside Cross

Tong Norton

 

SJ811081

Possible site of cross indicated by field name.

 

Wayside Cross

Weston

 

SO32107494

Medieval cross shown on tithe map but now gone.

 

Wayside Cross

Weston

 

SO32707508

Medieval cross shown on tithe map but now gone.

 

Weeping Cross

 

Shrewsbury

SJ51281040

Medieval cross that was visited on Corpus Christi Day by various guilds, corporate and religious bodies to offer prayers for an abundant harvest. It may have been removed after the reformation.

 

Whiston Cross

Albrighton

 

SJ79680356

Medieval cross mentioned in a deed dated 1279 which grants to Buildwas “... a certain plot of ground from a certain Cross which stands between Cospeford (Cosford) and Archesleg (Atchley).

 

Whiston Cross

Alderbury

 

SJ40361284

A Whiston Cross was recorded in 1688 but is now gone.

 

White Rock Cross

Cruckmeole

 

SJ43010978

There is place name evidence for a cross or boundary marker of probable medieval to post medieval date.