Scheduled Monument: Fulford cross, 200m south west of the barracks (1015539)

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Other Ref 26618
National Ref 1015539
Date assigned 17 April 1997
Date last amended


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 cross is thought to be in its original position and, although somewhat weathered and missing its head, nevertheless survives in good condition and is an important historical feature of Fulford village. The monument includes a medieval cross at Fulford, which is situated on the west side of Fulford Road, south west of the barracks. The cross, which is listed Grade II (DYO1114) dates from c.1484. It includes the lower portion of the cross shaft, which is octagonal in section and survives to a height of 1m. This is set into an octagonal base measuring 0.75m high, which itself is set upon a tier of three stone steps, all octagonal in shape. These measure 0.1m at the lowest ground level, 0.3m high for the second tier and 0.2m high for the third, upon which the cross base is set. The paved surface which surrounds the monument and the low brick wall which partly surrounds the monument on its north, west and south sides are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them is included

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Grid reference SE 6087 5012 (point)
Map sheet SE65SW
Unitary Authority City of York, North Yorkshire

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Record last edited

Dec 9 2014 3:57PM


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