Hidden East Anglia: Home

A Survey of Medieval (and earlier) Freestanding Crosses in Norfolk

  Norfolk Cross Survey: Contents 

The Survey Parish by Parish: O - R

(Old Hunstanton to Runton)

     

Old Hunstanton 

(Remains of cross)
  In the fields north of Heacham and west of Ringstead is the site of a deserted medieval village, known as Ringstead Parva or Barrett Ringstead. The only trace remaining above ground is the ruin of the 14th century chapel of St. Andrew (TF68373994.) Just to the east of it, an object was unearthed in 1953 that turned out to be part of the head of a late Saxon wheel-head cross. Made of Barnack limestone, it may have been a grave-marker, or possibly stood as a churchyard cross near the chapel. It is now in Norwich Castle Museum, though not on public display.
     

Old Hunstanton 

(Site of cross)
 

Hunstanton Park began around the Hall, home of the le Strange family, as a deer park in the 15th century. In the 1600s Sir Hamon le Strange commissioned surveys of his Norfolk holdings, including one in 1615 of Hunstanton by Thomas Waterman. His map1 shows the words 'Stumpe Crosse' written beside a track at about TF69024110, roughly 700m south of the Hall, at the northern tip of what is now Beech Wood. At the time this was outside the park, which wasn't extended to its present size until the mid-19th century. It stood beside an old road called Southgate, that ran southwards through Ringstead Parva and on to Heacham. Within the park its line survives as a field boundary, while outside parts of the road still exist as tracks.

 

Unless there was a completely separate cross here, at some point it was moved into the park and close to the Hall. The British Library houses the extensive collection of drawings, engravings etc that Dawson Turner commissioned between 1814 and 1857 for his own edition of Blomefield's 'History'. At some time before 1841 his daughter Harriet Gunn made a drawing of "Stone-Cross, near Hunstanton Hall".2 A member of the le Strange family also held a sketch in water-colours that showed a 'stump cross' near the 15th century gatehouse to the Hall.3 The shape and size seen in both virtually confirm that this was the very cross now on The Green at Hunstanton, that was placed there in 1846.

 

There are two additional corroborating sources that I've found, from just over 50 years later, the first of which says that the structure on The Green "came from the neighbourhood of the old hall".4 The second describes it as "remains of an old cross brought from Hunstanton Hall".5

 

1. NRO: LEST/OA 1

2. Dawson Turner: 'Catalogue of Engravings, Etchings etc...inserted in a copy of Blomefield's History' (1841), p.72.

3. Letters from John Bingham to Edwin Rose (Norfolk Museums Service), 26/10/1980, 3/2/1981 (kindly supplied by Norfolk County Council, Historic Environment Record.)

4. 'Observer' in 'The Norfolk Chronicle' 18/1/1908.

5. C.S. Ward: 'The Eastern Counties' (Nelson & Sons, 1909), p.62.

     

Old Hunstanton 

(Site of cross)
 

Another cross is revealed on the same 1615 map mentioned above, where the words 'White Crosse' are written at the junction of the old roads Market Waye, Thornstie, Marlepitt Waye, Greenegate and Chapple Stye. I've located the crossroads at TF68334180, where the road called Chapel Bank is met by what is now Lover's Lane (formerly Thornstie.) According to the tithe award of 1844, field 34 on the north-west side of the crossroads was called 'Cross Close', while field 163 on the south-west side was 'White Cross'.1

 

1. NRO: PD 698/91

     

Oulton 

(Possible cross site)
 

The field name of 'Marlpittecrosse' appears in a court record of 1515.1 The name survived, as 'Marlpitt Cross' also features as a furlong of land in property deeds dating to 1721.2 It possibly applied to the crossroads east of the village at TG14402812, where Church Lane is crossed by a north-south by-road. In the south-east angle, field 75 in the 1839 tithe award3 is called 'Marl Pit Piece', while Marlpit Cottages still stand nearby - although marl pits were very common in the landscape. I've yet to find any evidence that an actual cross stood here.

 

1. Karl Inge Sandred: 'The Place-Names of Norfolk' (English Place-Name Society, 2002), Part 3, p.97.

2. NRO: MC 184/1/7, 646X1

3. NRO: BR 276/1/54

     

Outwell 

(Documented record of cross)
 

Nothing remains of the 'Stone Crosse' which apparently stood at about TF50220418, where Moll's Drove meets Needham Bank to form a three-ways junction, and the parish boundary turns. All we know about it comes from Dugdale in the 17th century.1 He mentions it several times, including "That all persons having lands in Budbech field in Upwell, ought to make their part of Green dike from Dod's stile, and so to the Stony Crosse, at Sumpter's dore, every man his part, 8 foot broad on the top." And again, "That the Sewer called New dike, lying in Buriall field, in Outwell; beginning at the East end of a Wood sometime Hilbrond's, and descending unto the Chapel-bridg, and thence to a Pipe at the Stone crosse, at the dore of Ric. Sumpter, be clensed".

 

1. Sir William Dugdale: 'The History of Imbanking and Drayning of Divers Fenns and Marshes' (1662), p.347.

     

Oxborough 

(Possible cross site)
 

Even without confirmatory evidence, the name 'Whyte Cross Lane' is for me a good indicator of the presence of a wayside cross. It no longer exists, but features on a map1 reconstructed from an early C17th survey of Oxborough manor.2 It looks to have started on what is now Oxborough Road west of the Hall, went north a little way then curved north-east to join with what is now Swaffham Road.

 

1. Patricia A.W. Dallas: 'Elite Landscapes in Late Medieval and Early Modern East Anglia: Families, Residences and the Development of Exclusivity' (PhD thesis, University of East Anglia, 2013), p.180, 182.

2. NRO: PD 139/52.

     

Paston 

(Remains of cross)
 

Date of visit: 22/5/18.

According to Cozens-Hardy, Tom Martin in the early 18th century noted, at St. Margaret's church, "a cross on the North east end of the church yard." The cross itself is long gone, but a few metres from the north-east corner of the church is a roughly oval 'hump' made of large cobblestones roughly cemented together (TG3230834431.) It measures approximately 105cm x 115cm across x 50cm high. An archaeologist in 1968 called it the 'alleged' base of a churchyard cross, having never seen anything like it before. Based on those that I've seen or know about, to me this is clearly the remains of the rubble core around which the base of a cross would have been constructed, before a pedestal and shaft would have been set on top. It's somewhat rougher in build than others, but the labourers would likely have used whatever material was to hand.

     

Paston 

(Documented record of cross)
 

The 1467 will of John Arcall of Paston made a bequest to erect a freestone cross "near Stowe Chapel by the King's Highway".1 It seems generally accepted that the chapel was a resting place for pilgrims travelling to and from Bromholm Priory at Bacton, and that Stow Mill windmill now stands on the site, on Stow Hill. The presence of a crossroads immediately close by suggests that the cross might have stood there, at about TG31613576.

 

The NHER refers to the finding of a cross base - presumably a pedestal - in the Mill garden in 1923, as well as a possible section of shaft in the gable of a nearby building. But details are confused as to which building, and investigations in 1978 revealed no trace or knowledge of any such finds (NHER No.13140.)

 

1. NRO: ANF will register Liber 4 (Grey) fo. 179

     

Pentney 

(Remains of cross)
 

Date of visit: 18/8/18.

Dimensions: Historic England

A 14th century date has been suggested for Pentney Cross, which stands on private land on a field boundary a little south of Abbey Road, just south-west of the village (TF7168413375.) It was presumably erected by the Augustinian Pentney Priory, about 1 miles away, and appears to mark the route between church and priory. The socket stone is a fairly standard type, with stop-angles and cornice moulding, measuring 40cm square and 50cm high. The shaft is also standard, 35cm square at the bottom, chamfered to an octagonal section, and tapering to a height of 2.5m. But the base it stands on is very unusual. A cap of stone sits on top of a cruciform plinth composed of four sloping buttresses that originally would have reached ground level. Now, they are broken away, exposing the core of cemented flints. Overall, the whole structure is almost 5m tall, and sits on a circular foundation of mortared flint rubble below ground level.

     

Postwick with Witton 

(Possible cross site)
 

Cozens-Hardy had a rough plan left by Fred Johnson - late Archivist of the Norfolk & Norwich Archaeological Society - of some land at 'Witton Cross', the location of which would have placed it at the former crossroads at TG30860907, now cut through by the A47. Here Witton Lane and Mill Lane met at the old Norwich to Yarmouth road. It was also a turning point of the old Witton/Great Plumstead parish boundary. He checked the location, but found no remains of any cross. There's obviously a chance - having no documentation to prove otherwise - that this was simply a named crossroads.

 

It may not have any connection at all, especially as it concerns a formerly separate (but adjacent) parish, but it seems that there are two drawings in Norwich Castle Museum entitled 'Postwick Cross'. They were both drawn by John Sell Cotman, probably between 1805 and 1814. Unfortunately they are not on public display, and I've been unable to find any image or description of them.

     

Quidenham 

(Remains of cross)
 

Date of visit: 18/7/18.

The White Cross stands right on the boundary between Quidenham and Snetterton, but was once in the parish of Hargham. It can be found, now hidden among trees and undergrowth, at the crossing of North Road by a track called Whitecross Drift, a little north of the A11 Hargham Road interchange (TM0106792330.) Less than ten years ago, it was out in the open and easily visible. It's thought to date from the 14th or 15th century, and only the pedestal and a short length of shaft have survived.

 

After ten minutes of hacking away the nettles and ivy shrouding it, I found that half the pedestal is now buried in the ground. It has the usual stop-angles, is 71cm across the octagonal surface, with no more than 23cm of its height now visible. Only 32cm remains of the shaft, which is 28cm square at the bottom, and seems to remain square as it slightly tapers upwards. A shallow mortise hole can be seen in the top. The Drift is called Whitecross Lane on the 1st edition OS 1" map, but a map of 16291 records it as the Greenway, and shows the cross as standing on the southern edge of what was then 'Swangaie Heath'.

 

1. NRO: MC 168/1/1-2

     

Quidenham 

(Remains of cross)
 

Date of visit: 18/7/18.

About 800m SSE of the White Cross is another - probably 15th century - pedestal and shaft, almost obscured by grass (TM0132591566.) It sits well back on the southern verge of the eastern A11 slip road at the above-mentioned Hargham Road interchange. On old maps it was about 40m to the south-west, but was moved when the A11 was modernised and the interchange constructed. Cozens-Hardy states that the cross was "said to have been" brought here from Old Buckenham, about 2 miles to the east, but gives no source for the statement. It does not appear on the 1629 map mentioned above, which suggests that Cozens-Hardy may have been correct. A source of 1904 describes it thus: "At Hargham...cross-roads stands a time-worn stone shaft, reared on equally shapeless steps. The country folk call this shattered stump of an ancient wayside cross 'Cockcrow Stone'.1 (See also Snetterton.)

 

Only 10cm of the socket stone now shows above ground, but was previously measured as 28cm high, and is 72cm square. It has chamfered corners, but I couldn't detect any stop-angles. The shaft is slightly rectangular at the bottom, 36cm x 33cm, but becomes octagonal as it tapers upward, and is broken off at 1.06m in height. Two opposing sides of the shaft have a hole in them 30cm up from the base, 50mm in diameter and about 80mm in depth, suggesting that it was used for another purpose at some point - perhaps a gate post?  

 

1. Charles R. Harper: 'The Newmarket, Bury, Thetford and Cromer Road' (Chapman & Hall, 1904), p.253.

     

Quidenham 

(Documented record of crosses)
 

There are two crosses named in the following 14th century passage, but I haven't been able to determine for certain whether their locations were in Quidenham, or in the neighbouring parish of Banham. "In 1363 William de Morle, Marshal of Ireland, by a Charter dated at Banham, on the Saturday next after the Feast of S. Michael the Archangel, granted to John de Herlyngg, his heirs and assigns, common of pasture in the town of Banham for all his cattle within the town of Quidenham, up to certain bounds, viz., from Quidenham to Scarlescross, and from thence to Nugate Cross, thence to a road called 'Salter's Waye,' which extended to the fields of Wilby, and thence to a division called 'Eides-dole'".1 While 'Nugate' sounds like a road name, Scarle and Scarles are both personal names recorded in Norfolk in past centuries.

 

1. R.H. Mason: 'The History of Norfolk' part 5 (1885), p.141.

     

Raynham 

(Possible remains of cross)
 

In the base of the 18th or 19th century wall that curves around the grounds of the Old Rectory at West Raynham - but not visible from the road -  is what is described in NHER No.30138 as "a rectangular block of limestone with a smaller block on top" (TF87382526.) It is apparently carved in some way, and a suggestion was made that it may have been part of the base of a cross from the ruins of St. Margaret's church a few hundred metres away to the north-west. However, the West Raynham Field Map made by Thomas Waterman in 1617 suggests that there was possibly a wayside cross here, as it shows the village green - which is only a few metres from the wall - was then named 'Cros Green'.1

 

1. NRO: BL 33

     

Reepham 

(Remains of cross)
 

Date of visit: 25/6/18.

Going north-west out of Reepham is Kerdiston Road, which passes through the village of that name. On its south-west edge at TG0921723925 current OS maps mark 'Cross (rems of)' but nothing is immediately visible. Starting in the 1970s the OS marked it as 'Cross-base.' A map of about 1600 made for Roger Bulwer1 shows it as 'Kerdiston Cross', as does Faden's 1797 map of Norfolk. Although the tithe map of Reepham with Kerdiston - as the parish was then called - of 1846 doesn't show or name the cross, the tithe award of two years earlier gives the name of 'Cross Close' to two fields close by this spot. 2

 

Cozens-Hardy had "some stonework" pointed out to him in the hedge which he thought likely to be the remains of the cross, and the landowner is said to have found and cleaned it up in 1975. It may have been struck by a vehicle a few years later. I went searching for it, and was lucky enough to glimpse something white in the roadside bank at the base of a hedge. Removing weeds and a little soil I was able to expose a mass of flints mortared together, that is deeply embedded in the earthen bank. The visible section measures approximately 75cm x 30cm x 18cm high, with a rough hole or slot in the upper surface.

 

An English Heritage report of 1997, recorded by PastScape, suggested that this was probably "the inner core of the socket stone which has been robbed of its stone facing". I find this unlikely, as socket stones seem to have always been carved from a single solid block, usually of limestone. It's far more likely to be another 'rubble core' from the base or plinth of the cross.

 

1. NRO: BUL 11/453

2. NRO: PD 440/122

     

Reepham 

(Remains of cross)
 

Date of visit: 25/6/18.

In Reepham churchyard are two churches, and the remnant of a third. St. Mary's was and is the parish church of Reepham, while St. Michael's - now redundant - belonged to Whitwell. Only a fragment of wall remains of All Saints, which burned down in 1543 and originally served the parish of Hackford. All three were combined into the single parish of Reepham in 1935. The point where all the parish boundaries used to meet is on the churchyard wall in Church Hill, where the north-west corner of the chancel of St. Mary's is barely 2m from the road (TG1012822874.)

 

Inside St. Mary's, to the right of the font, a finely carved cross finial has been cemented to the base of a column, and has unfortunately been whitewashed. It measures 50cm x 15cm x 50cm high. Pevsner describes it as "Head of a churchyard cross with the Virgin and St. John squeezed under the arms of the cross".1 Members of the Norfolk & Norwich Archaeological Society visited in May 1885, and reported: "In the course of the day's ramble there was also exhibited by the Rev. M.M.U. Wilkinson of Reepham, a fine gable-cross found built in the buttress of the east angle of that church during its restoration [in 1885.] Its height is about two feet, and is carved with figures representing the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. John, St. Michael with drawn sword, St. Christopher carrying the Infant Saviour, and St. Andrew bearing his cross. It was proposed to place it on the chancel gable of Reepham Church".2

 

That clearly never happened, as on a further visit in 1896, it was still being displayed loose in the church. This time, the same Rev. Wilkinson claimed that the cross had once been fixed to the north-west buttress of the chancel - right next to the meeting-point of the parish boundaries - and that some thought it had been a wayside cross for pilgrims heading to Walsingham.3

 

Several problems arise with this notion. Firstly, there is no buttress at the north-west corner of the chancel. When Blomefield saw it in the 18th century, he said "On a buttress of the north-east corner of the chancel, is a crucifix carved on the stone".4 There is indeed a buttress at that point, but it's clearly not contemporary with the 14th century church. Secondly, finial crosses were never fitted to the corner of a church roof, but to the apex of the gable. And thirdly, as Wilkinson acknowledged at the time, the fact that there are holy figures carved on both sides suggests that it was meant to be viewed in the round. In all probability it was, as Pevsner says, the head of a churchyard cross.

 

1. Nikolaus Pevsner: 'The Buildings of England: North-East Norfolk and Norwich' (Penguin Books, 1962), p. 303.

2. 'Norfolk Archaeology' Vol.10 (1888), p.393.

3. 'Norfolk & Norwich Notes & Queries' Part 1 (Dec. 1896), p.75.

4. Blomefield: Vol.8 (1808), p.248.

     

Repps with Bastwick 

(Remains of crosses)
 

Only the tower of St. Peter's Chapel survives at Bastwick; the rest was already in ruins by 1618. Hard by is Tower House, and in the gardens (TG42641811) - at least until the 1980s - could be found oddments of masonry from the chapel, including at least two components from medieval crosses.

 

On its own was a fairly standard socket stone, square below and chamfered to octagonal above, with a square mortise hole (photo by Cozens-Hardy, left.) But a rare feature is that according to Historic England the stop-angles were carved into the shapes of crouching monks - although Cozens-Hardy says they are the four Evangelists. He also says that it was alleged to have been brought here from Eccles - presumably the one-time village of the same name about 7 miles north of Repps, which had mostly fallen into the sea by the 17th century, rather than the former parish of Eccles that is now part of Quidenham.

 

Not far away in the gardens were several items of masonry that had been stacked into a pleasing 'tower'. On top was an octagonal font bowl of the 14th or 15th century, but at the bottom was another cross pedestal. This was similar to the first, but with plain stop-angles. Cozens-Hardy says there was also a short section of shaft elsewhere in the garden belonging to this pedestal. When the two were still a single item, this was presumably the "stump of a cross" that Cozens-Hardy saw in a sketch in Dawson Turner's edition of Blomefield, dated 1815.

 

Another sketch of the same date recorded here "a piece of carved stone...which may have been the base of a churchyard cross - octagonal - face ornamented with quatrefoils." According to Cozens-Hardy, this is the middle piece in the stack of masonry between the font and the pedestal. He says it's actually hexagonal, has no mortise hole, and must therefore be a kind of plinth between base and socket stone. In the 1987 listing however, Historic England describes it as the base of a pier or supporting column, and nothing to do with a cross. (Photo lower left of the whole 'stack', by Cozens-Hardy. Both photos from 'Norfolk Archaeology' Vol.25, by courtesy of www.nnas.info)

 

In recent years Tower House became home to a 'cat hotel' - but when I visited in August 2019, the 'hotel' signs were gone and the tall iron gates padlocked. I found later that the business had indeed closed down, but whether the cross remnants are still on the property, I do not know.

     

Repps with Bastwick 

(Documented record of cross)
 

South-east of Repps church, and south of Church Road, Sandred1 records several instances of a medieval field name close to the boundary with Ashby that are pertinent to this survey. From a manuscript of 1283 in the Norwich Cathedral Library we have 'Croshowe'; then 'Crosshowe' in 1392 from the Ashby Account Books, and the same in 1466 and 1467 from the Repps Field Books. 'Crosshowe' also appears in the Field Books in 1572, along with 'Crosshowdale'.2 'Howe' in this case has the meaning of hill or mound. It would seem that 'Cross Howe' was apparently one of the mounds in a Bronze Age round barrow cemetery at about TG42571655, now marked only by the cropmarks of ring-ditches visible in aerial photographs. The conclusion that there was an ancient cross on a mound here is, I think, reinforced by the fact that two fields close by were named 'Holy Eight Acres' and 'Holy Nine Acres' in the 1839 Repps tithe award.3

 

1. Karl Inge Sandred: 'The Place-Names of Norfolk' (English Place-Name Society, 1996), Part 2, p.44.

2. Ibid, p.72.

3. Nat Arch, Kew: IR 29/23/443

     

Rockland St. Mary 

(Documented record of cross)
 

Blomefield tells us that the men prosecuted in 1549 for "pulling down Bramerton-cross" did the same to "Rockland-cross".1 The location is unknown, but the cross may have been there for at least three centuries before its destruction. Land transfers of the late 13th century show the presence in the parish of a family named as "ad crucem de Rockland".2

 

1. Blomefield: Vol.5 (1806), p.472.

2. NRO: DCN 44/91/8, DCN 44/91/9

     

Roudham 

(Site of cross)
 

The division of a county into 'Hundreds' began in the 10th century - or possibly earlier - and lasted into the 19th. From the 12th century there were 32 Hundreds in Norfolk, one of which was called Guiltcross, covering an area in the south of the county between Thetford and Fersfield.

 

According to Blomefield: "This Hundred takes its name from some remarkable cross that was gilt, which either stood in it, or was to be seen in great part of it; though Mr. Neve observes it was spelt anciently Gydecross, from some cross that was a guide to travellers; and I am apt to think it might be Rowdham Cross, which at that time was seen in great part of this hundred, and was certainly a very remarkable one, that town taking its name from it".1 He added that "Rudham, Rudeham, Roodham, or Rowdham, takes its name from a remarkable rood or cross that stood in it, upon the great road leading from Thetford to Norwich; the remaining stones of it were carried thence to Harling, about five or six years agone, by Mr. Wright, who was then lord here".2

 

PastScape gives an approximate location of TL93568725 for this cross, and says that it is marked as such on one of the maps in John Ogilby's 1675 atlas 'Brittania'. That's not strictly accurate, as Ogilby's map merely shows "a Stone cross" roughly in this area. The location is not an unlikely one, as it's close to the crossing of the Norwich road by the well-known Roman route known as Peddar's Way. John Wright was lord of the manor at both Roudham and East Harling when he moved the last stones of the cross in about 1730. No trace of them has ever been found at Harling.

 

Roudham certainly had a cross, but contrary to Blomefield, there's no evidence that it was named for it. Given the earliest spelling (in Domesday Book) of Rudham, far more likely is a derivation from the Old English word rūde, giving us 'village where rue was grown'.

 

Although authorities claim this as the 'established site' of the cross that gave the Hundred its name, as it appears to be based purely on Blomefield I believe this to be incorrect. His assertion that the Guiltcross was 'remarkable' seems to rely solely on it having been gilded i.e. covered with gold leaf, or painted gold - which in itself is very unlikely. Also, it was only his conjecture that the two crosses were one and the same.

 

In the Domesday Book, Guiltcross appears as Gildecros, Gillecros and Gildecrose. In 1257 it is spelt Gyldecros, in 1265 Gyldcros, and in 1586 Gyltcross. It could derive from the Old English element gylde, referring to something gold-coloured - usually a natural feature, such as a sandy hill, or a place where golden flowers grew. But it may actually have arisen from an Old Norse personal name, giving us 'Gyldi's cross'. Oliver le Neve's 'Gydecross' probably arose from a misreading of the 13th century spelling of Gyldecros.

 

Roudham - and Bridgham, where another 'Guiltcross' name occurs, 1 miles away - was always in Shropham Hundred, divided from Guiltcross by the river Thet. Of the 32 Hundreds, 27 are named after a specific area, village or feature whose location is either known or has been reasonably surmised. In every case, that location is within the Hundred named for it (four others are either unknown, or are derived from a 'tribal' name.) That leaves only Guiltcross, which I very much doubt was named for an object in a different Hundred. I suspect that the cross in question is more likely to have stood in Guiltcross itself, somewhere like Kenninghall, Garboldisham, or one of the Harling parishes.

 

Whether it signified another cross or simply the borrowing of a name I don't know, but 22 miles north of Roudham there was another 'Guiltcross'. The 1839 tithe award for the parish of Foxley (formerly in the Hundred of Eynford) gives the name 'Guiltcross Breck' to a field on the west side of what is now Mill Road. This lane is called on the 1815 enclosure map 'Guiltcross Road', and there was a farm similarly named on the east side. The road itself meets the Roman B1145 at TG03182065, along which the parish boundary between Foxley and Bawdeswell runs - so perhaps there was a wayside cross here also?

 

1. Blomefield: Vol.1 (1805), p.213.

2. Ibid, p.432.

     

Rougham 

(Documented record of cross)
 

A grant of land dated to September 13511 mentions messuages at "le Crouch", near the long-vanished chapel of St. Mary, which has been identified as the three-ways where The Street splits in two, at the south end of the village (TF83172024.) Alan Davison2 asks "did 'le Crouch' indicate a cross or a forking of routes?" To me, the mid-14th century date, the use of the old term 'Crouch', the definite article, and the capitalisation all put it beyond doubt that this is referring to an actual freestanding cross.

 

1. NRO: NRS 6741

2. Alan Davison: 'Six Deserted Villages in Norfolk' (East Anglian Archaeology Report No.44, Norfolk Museums Service, 1988), p.49.

     

Rougham 

(Possible cross site)
 

In the Rougham bailiff's account roll of 1442-31 is a mention of 'Castleacre Cross' in the area of TF82461879, a crossroads on the way to Castle Acre, and on a turn of the parish boundary. Although I can't be certain that it's not the junction being named, the combination of name, location and boundary would suggest a wayside cross.

 

1. NRO: NRS 6441

     

Roydon (near King's Lynn) 

(Site of cross)
 

A 1588 map of 'Rising Chace' - cited previously under both Castle Rising and Grimston - shows 'Blakely Cross' at the western edge of Roydon parish.1 It's actually depicted as standing on a small mound at about TF67212225, beyond the edge of Roydon Common, on the boundary between that village and Castle Rising. No trace remains, but it's thought to have perhaps been a memorial to the 14th century de Blakeney - rather than Blakely - family. OS maps of the mid-20th century also place the cross here, but don't mark it as an antiquity.

 

1. NRO: BL 71

     

Roydon (near King's Lynn) 

(Site of cross)
  All Saints churchyard (TF69912365) was the original site - so Cozens-Hardy was told - of the cross pedestal that was moved in 1881 to North Wootton, before ending up, and vanishing, at Congham Hall.
     

Roydon (near Diss) 

(Documented record of cross)
 

The 1471 will of John Hamond of this parish1 made a bequest for a cross - possibly of wood - to be built on 'Awnger Hill'. No one seems to know where this hill was. Actually, the will register calls the man John Hamond of Reydon - which is a village in Suffolk - but the fact that it's in the records for Norfolk suggests a transcription error. On the other hand, the NHER only assigns this to Roydon near Diss as the other Roydon was apparently spelled 'Rydon' in the 15th century. Given the inconsistent nature of spelling in the late Middle Ages, I'm not too sure we can be that confident about this location.

 

1. NRO: ANF will register Liber 4 (Grey) fo. 296

     

Runton 

(Documented record of cross)
 

From a survey of lands in Runton c.1480-15001 comes the field name 'stumped crosse'.2 There's no doubt that this indicates an actual stone cross, but of its location, I have no clue.

 

1. NRO: WKC 2/207, 399X1

2. Karl Inge Sandred: 'The Place-Names of Norfolk' (English Place-Name Society, 2002), Part 3, p.37.

     

Runton 

(Documented record of cross)
 

In the same land survey cited above, the existence of 'Oxwell Cross' is revealed. Only the name is still current, referring to a patch of land either side of the A149 Cromer Road between East and West Runton, at TG18814273. As the tithe award of 18381 shows, this area was Oxwell Cross Common, with a freshwater spring on the north side used by the inhabitants of both hamlets. G.F. Leake in 1988 confirms that the 15th century survey "locates the actual cross in a small plot of land on the south side", and says that it was the custom in olden times for pall bearers carrying coffins to the church at East Runton to pause here to slake their thirst, and rest their burden "under a rough shelter that stood on the little common on the south side of the road".2 There is no record of any crossroad or other junction nearby, and although East and West Runton seem always to have been part of the same parish, it may be that a cross was placed there to mark the limits of the two settlements.

 

1. Nat Arch, Kew: IR 29/23/464

2. G.F. Leake: 'East & West Runton: Two Villages, One Parish' (Poppyland Publishing 2006, orig. pub. 1988), p.28.

   

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