ASLOCKTON.—A stone, thought to be part of a cross-shaft, and sculptured on all its four faces with Scriptural subjects, was found in the wall of an Aslockton cottage in 1862, and is now preserved in Whatton Church.
ATTENBOROUGH.—St. Mary's Cross, otherwise Lady Cross, the stump of which is described as surviving in 1831, has given name to a field near the church. What appeared to be the only remaining relic in 1902 was the damaged plinth, deeply sunk in the turf.
BALDERTON.—"Spitalcross" in Balderton is mentioned as early as 1312. The village-cross of Balderton figures in an affray of 1535, chronicled in Brown's History of Newark.
BARNBY-IN-THE-WILLOWS.—The reported base of a cross in the village street has since been identified as a millstone.
BARTON-IN-FABIS.—In Barton churchyard, hard by the south porch, is a large square stone, having worked angles, and measuring about 21/2 feet each way. It has the appearance of a cross-plinth, but with the walls of its former shaft-socket cut away. It is stated to have been found, some twenty years ago, serving as building material, in a south buttress of the church.
BASFORD.—Beside the Nottingham and Alfreton road, towards the confines of Basford parish on the Nuttall side, since at least 1844 occur the names, Stump Cross Hall and Stump Cross Cottages, presumably indicating the former existence of a boundary-cross hereabouts. A vase-surmounted, cross-like column, 12 or 14 feet in height, was erected by Thomas Bailey, the Notts, county annalist, in the grounds of his Basford residence, to commemorate the passing of the Reform Act of 1832. It was subsequently removed to Old Basford Cemetery, and placed over the grave of a friend of the annalist.
BEESTON.—A local historical pamphlet of 1873 refers to the site of the village cross as the reputed scene of a former corn-market. A directory of 1876 states that some vestiges of an old stone cross had remained on the spot in question within the preceding twenty years. The same open space is yet known as "The Cross."
BESTHORPE.—A bye-law relating to Bes-thorpe agricultural affairs in 1648, mentions the headlands " from Collingham field to White Cross." A will of 1709 mentions White-cross Gate, Besthorpe.
BILSTHORPE.—A recent writer states that the early Norman tub font is supported on part of a pre-Norman cross.
BINGHAM.—As an old market town, this place must have possessed a cross from early times. The Notts, directory of 1832 first mentions the "very convenient butter cross " in the market-place. It was pulled down, and the present cross built in 1861, by public subscription, as a memorial to John Hassall, of Shelford. The directory of 1864 styles it " an elegant butter cross."
BLIDWORTH.—The cross that long stood in the grounds at Fountain Dale, but is now removed to Blidworth Churchyard, was originally erected at the intersection of several adjacent parishes, at the junction of two Notts. hundreds, and on the Sherwood Forest boundary line (after 1300), on the neighbouring Rufford Road, under the name of Lay Cross. Hence it was doubtless a wayside boundary-cross, where the king's forest officers may have collected dues from travellers entering the forest from the north. In local tradition, the erection seems to have become associated with the names of Robin Hood and Tom Leeke In this situation the cross and shaft were long ago destroyed, the original octagonal plinth or socket alone remaining by the wayside. A Blyth Road traveller of 1751 records that six miles south of Rufford he observed the remains of an octagon cross. In 1765 a vessel of Roman coins was dug up at a place called "Robin Hood's Pot," on the road to Rufford. About 1790 the stone, under the same name, was shown to Throsby, the historian, who describes it as the base of a pillar or cross. It is plotted on a county map of 1826, and on the old ordnance maps. The old base is stated to have been removed to Blidworth Churchyard in 1836, and to Fountain Dale in 1839, being supplied with a new cross and shaft, and with an inscription. In 1903 it was set up again in Blidworth Churchyard, as a permanent Peace Memorial,, after the conclusion of the South African War.
No doubt there were other crosses in the neighbourhood of Blidworth, a Cross Pool Dale being marked on the map of 1826. Again, an old perambulation of land of the Archbishop of York proceeded S.W. from the head of Rainworth to "Chapman's Cross." Hayman Rooke mentions a large square pillar, on the north side of Harlow Wood, thought to have had an official association with Sherwood Forest, which had formerly borne an inscribed brass-plate, and which is said to still exist. A similar pillar yet exists beside the Nottingham and Mansfield road, west of Harlow Wood. "Bessie Shepherd's Murder Stone," not far removed from the latter, is a representative of the older memorial crosses.
BLYTH.—A Blyth Will of 1563 refers to land belonging to "Le Spyttle," "near the stone cross." It may be added that Nornay Bridge is stated to have been formerly called Rood Bridge, and in 1521 there was a bequest to "the roode of the brige."
BRIDGEFORD, EAST.—Two fragments of an Anglo-Saxon or early Norman cross, bearing plaited ornamentation, were brought to light during the church restoration of 1902. There was also dug up in the churchyard a circular-headed stone, incised with a cross of Norman design, and having a roughly spiked stump, evidently for sticking in the ground, at the head of a grave, after the style of those seen in the Isle of Man. (There was a precisely similar stone in the grounds of Tuxford Hall, prior to the Wilson sale.) Either this or (more likely) an orthodox churchyard-cross was standing in 1654, in which year the parish-register testifies that a man was buried " before the cross, in the churchyard." In the grounds of Bridgford Hall, about 1828, a newly-erected well-cover is said to have been inscribed in black-letter with lines from Scott's "Marmion," inviting the passenger to drink and pray for the soul of " Sybil Grey, who built this cross and well." It is said, however, there is no accompanying cross. An early parish-map of East Bridgeford, believed to be nearly three centuries old, shows a cross standing in the village, on the road leading from the church to the Fosse, immediately west of the first lane leading northward.
BROUGH.—Stukely, 1724, related that the landlady of the little alehouse of his day declared that where her fireplace was, the cross once stood.
BROUGHTON-SULNEY.—The square base and stump of an ancient cross, on a green at the west end of the village, where several roads converge, are first mentioned in the Notts. Directory of 1832. There are two steps, a plinth, and about three feet of shaft, having worked angles. About two miles north-west of the village, "Baker's Cross " is marked on the map.
BURTON JOYCE.— The head of a cross, described as of Decorated style, about 1300. was found some years ago in Lambley Lane, Burton Joyce.
CALVERTON.—In 1499 there was a bequest towards the fabric of the stone cross in the west part or side of Calverton. In 1544-5 there was a private bequest of a garden, at. "Calverton Crosse."
CARBURTON.—The old-time boundaries of the Wood of Carburton, as recited in "Dukery" Records, extended on one side to the cross in the road to Clumber, otherwise in "Clunestrete."
CARCOLSTON.— The base of the church-yard-cross still stands near the south porch of the church. Until recent years, its socket is said to have held a wooden post, upon which was a sun-dial. It is related that a certain "Cross Close," situate on that side of the parish towards Screveton, derived its name from the circumstance that the form of a cross was newly cut in its turf upon the occasion of each successive beating of the bounds.
CARLTON-BY-NOTTINGHAM. — In 1331 there was a transfer of land in the field of Carlton at the " Hold Cross," possibly signifying "Old Cross." During excavations in the village of Carlton in 1894, the head of what may perhaps have been the village-cross, ascribed to about the year 1390, were found a few feet below-ground, together with some large rectangular stones that may have been associated with the base of the erection.
CARLTON-IN-LINDRICK.—In the course of a descriptive account of the church printed in 1891, the then rector mentioned that the capital of the southern support of the chancel arch is thought to have been made from an old cross, possibly one that existed before the church itself. The rector further mentioned that the block of stone near the west door seems to be part of an old churchyard cross. In the village of Carlton, a roughly triangular piece of ground, where the stocks once stood, is still known as "The Cross," although I was informed some few years ago that the oldest inhabitants remembered no more than a single large stone on the site, forming the seat for the stocks, which latter could accommodate two persons at once.
CHILWELL.—In 1902, in Ley's Lane, Chilwell, the writer noticed that the last cottage from the main road was approached by a bridge across a small water-course, one side of which bridge was formed by a tapering octagonal stone column, having a square base, which had the appearance of an ancient cross-shaft.
CLIPSTONE-IN-SHERWOOD.—One of the old-time boundaries of Clipstone Park (as cited from Forest manuscripts in " Dukery Records") occurs as Toyst or Toist Crosse, apparently between the village and the Maun. A certain Crossehed or Crossed Oak, variantly described as a boundary between the lordships of Clipstone and Edwinstowe, and in Clipstone Wood, seems more likely to have been named from a cross marked on its trunk rather than from any association with a stone cross. " Crossed oak " and " Crossehedde-hill " also occur under Rufford. Half-way hetween Edwinstowe and Church Warsop, in what was formerly Clipstone Park, on the grass margin to the north of the road, is a turf-cut cross, filled with white stones, and marking the site of a bicycle fatality, about 1893. A similar turf-cross at Clifton-by-Nottingham.
COATES.— The volume of Thoroton Society Transactions for 1904 contains an illustrated account of two fragments of a supposed Saxon early as the reign of Edward III. The Notts. Directory of 1832 stated that the market and fair had for some time been obsolete, but it was expected that the bridge over the Trent would so increase the prosperity of the place as to admit of them being re-established. The same authority adds that a fine old cross in the village was taken down by order of William Crawley, who had lately sold the manor. The directory of 184.4 asserts that the cross was taken down "about twenty years ago," or circa 1824. On the other hand, the directory of 1853 dates the demolition " about fifty years ago," or circa 1803, and ascribes the act to a Mr. Robert Mills.
Mr. W. Stevenson further wrote me (23rd June, 1912) he had learnt of a length of an octagonal cross-shaft, having gothic panels with tracery on each face, probably of 15th century date, being found at Dunham.
EAKRING.— The Eyam Parish Kalender for 1911 includes an illustration of a modern stone memorial cross, erected in a field about one mile outside the village of Eakring, and stated to bear the following inscription on its base: "Near this spot stood Pulpit Ash, where Mompesson preached on coming to Eakring in 1670 A.D., after leaving Eyam in Derbyshire, which had been decimated by the plague." Kelly's Directory states that it was erected in 1893, by Lord Savile.
EDINGLEY.—The details of penance directed to be undergone by a woman in 1528, included walking round Edingley churchyard, on Palm Sunday, with bare feet, and a net spread on her head; on Good Friday to approach the cross with bended knees, etc.
EDWINSTOWE.—The royal grant to William, Earl of Kingston, in 1684, of the Hay of Bilhagh, includes a citation of the boundaries. Three of the boundary marks were crosses, two of which are described as lately erected.
EGMANTON.—In the churchyard is stated to be a sundial, formed from the shaft of a cross, and inscribed:—"Cum coelo taciturn machina foedus habet."
FARNSFIELD.—The Nottingham antiquary, Stretton, in his account of Farnsfield church, written in 1814, says:—"The shaft of an ancient cross, now converted into a dial post, stands in the usual place in the churchyard, i.e., opposite the S.E. angle of the church."In December, 1911, the vicar of Farnsfield informed me that the relic still remained in the position named by Stretton, although no dial was on the shaft, nor any appearance of one having been there.
FLINTHAM.—In "A Bundle of Flintham Deeds," 1908, is included the abstract of a document, probably of the 14th century, which refers to land against " Witecros." (Compare White Cross at Besthorpe.)
GEDLING.—The village-cross of Gedling no doubt once stood in the open space still known as "The Cross," not far from the church, where several roads converge, and on one side of which is a modern drinking-fountain. An inhabitant of the village stated in 1902 that the structure, or its base and remains, had been in existence within the recollection of his father. Allusions to this spot as "The Cross," "The Village Cross," and "on the Cross," occur in the "Parish Magazine" for 1874, 1878; and 1879, as quoted in Mr. Gerring's "History of Gedling," 1908. The same work contains a photographic illustration of "Head of old cross in the vestry." The latter (which is hinged to the wall in such a manner as to admit of inspection on both sides), is an artistic and beautifully wrought specimen of the best period of Decorated Sculpture, say, 1300 to 1320, having the Crucifixion on one side and the Virgin and Child on the other. The material is Mansfield stone, but the fragment is much weathered. As in many other instances, we are no doubt indebted for its preservation to our day to some long-forgotten partisan of the old religion who lived in Reformation times, or else in those of the Civil War, when the destruction of crosses was in fashion. It was dug up in the garden of the Chesterfield Arms, Gedling, about the year 1863. and for the next twenty years remained on a grotto there, until seen by Mr. Richard Whitbread, of Carlton. Lord Forester had it affixed to the interior of the church between 1883 and 1887.
GOD'S CROSS.—About 11/2 miles outside the present county boundary, at a spot where Yorkshire and Lincolnshire meet, and to which Notts, also is supposed to have formerly extended, is yet called "God's Cross," though the modern boundary is but a stone. It may be recalled that, in the time of Henry VIII., Leland mentions, not far from Bytham, Lincolnshire, "Robyn Huddes cros, a limes of the shires."
GREASLEY.—A list of farmers, in the directory of 1864, includes "Thos. Meakin, Gilt-cros." The former syllable of this place-name is no doubt derived from the Gilt Brook, which flows through the parish. (See also Newthorpe and Watnall.)
GRINGLEY-ON-THE-HILL.—Kings Henry III. and Edward III. granted licences to hold market and fair here. The Notts. Directory of 1832 chronicles the continued existence of the "great annual fair," and mentions that: "Near it [the church] stands an ancient cross, which was repaired about ten years ago, when it narrowly escaped the desecrating hands of some of the parishioners, who wanted to use its materials for the reparation of the roads. Tradition says it was built in commemoration of one of the Edwards having passed this way into Lincolnshire." A modern directory variantly asserts that the cross was erected "for reverence, and place of offerings of vicar's quarterly fair-tithes, before the Reformation;" while another one avers that the erection belongs to the vicar for the time being.
Gringley Cross, standing on a little green near the church, consists of three steps, a sort of double plinth, and a fine, tall, octagonal shaft, apparently perfect except that the surmounting capital and cross are absent. Like Newark cross, its shaft has the striking feature of a niche towards the east, which however has lost its statuette. Excepting only the one at Newark, this is doubtless the best surviving example of a Gothic cross in the whole county.
HALAM.—Ordoyno, 1807, schedules "Halam Cross" as a habitat of the wild celery plant. Possibly this was identical with the " Boler Cross " figuring on Sanderson's county-map of 1861, in the neighbourhood of the Halam and Edingley parish boundary line.
[HALLOUGHTON].—About one mile southeast of this village occurs a High Cross Hill, in the neighbourhood of the parochial boundaries of Halloughton, Thurgarton, and Bleasby.
HARBY.—This village, until modern times a hamlet in the parish of North Clifton, is remarkable as the scene of the death of Queen Eleanor, wife of Edward I., on 28 November, 1290. The outstanding landmarks of this historic event are the celebrated series of "Eleanor Crosses," erected to perpetuate the twelve or thirteen stages of the funeral cortege, on its way to Westminster. The circumstance that a chantry was founded here, was perhaps considered a sufficient memorial of the happening, although Gough, (alone of the old-time antiquaries, but followed locally by Laird and Lowe) held the opinion that the first of the Eleanor crosses was erected at Harby. Latter-day students, however, have not been able to find any confirmation of the idea.
HARWORTH.—The Notts, directory of 1832 records that, while the church was being repaired, in 1828, a handsome cross was found in the churchyard, which was then placed above the east window.
HAWKSWORTH—John Taylor, rector, whose will was proved in 1434, directed that his body should be interred "in the churchyard, before the cross." Lately leaning against the tower, in Hawksworth Churchyard, was an elaborately-sculptured pre-Norman tapering stone, several feet in length, decorated with a cross and panels of plait-work, and possibly the one referred to in the above will. In 1908 it was removed inside the church.
HODSOCK.—The Notts, directory of 1844 records that:—"About 30 years ago a very handsome processional cross was dug up near the mansion, which was presented to the museum at Oscot College."
HOLME.—The History of Collingham, 1867, seems to furnish the earliest known allusion, as follows:—"The small cross, which stands in the village street, is very like the one at Winthorpe, and probably served a similar use in olden times." A drawing of the cross in 1887 reveals a mere battered stump of shaft remaining in a plinth, together with some loose stones that may have belonged to the base, lying by the roadside, near cross-roads. In 1893, according to a contemporary Newark newspaper, the shaft was removed from the plinth, for the purpose of setting at rest a local tradition that documents of antiquarian interest were there ensconced. After the belief had been demonstrated to be unfounded, it was recorded that the reinstatement of the relic had been put in hand.