Record Details

NHER Number:5945
Type of record:Monument
Name:Barnham Cross


The two-step base of a medieval stone cross survives here. This divided the liberty of Bury St Edmunds from the Liberty of Thetford. The cross base was smashed into several pieces and set in concrete during the First World War when an army camp was established nearby. Unfortunately some of the stones of the cross have been subject to vandalism and are now damaged or missing.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TL 8642 8095
Map Sheet:TL88SE

Full description

Primarily a boundary cross on the Norfolk-Suffolk border, this cross takes its name from a Suffolk parish, and is situated on Barnham Cross Common. It is said to have been the franchise cross, dividing the Liberty of St Edmund at Bury from the Liberty of Thetford. What survives (in 1933) is simply the base or socket stone, measuring 0.81m (2ft 8in) square. Above the square base is a further step, octagonal in shape. The base is no longer horizontal, perhaps because of rough treatment when this area was a large military camp during World War One.
See (S1) for further information.

Photographs taken in summer 1983 show the base smashed into several pieces and set in concrete. The photographer believes this was done during World War One when an army camp was established nearby, and that the cross was moved a few yards then. The photographer moved some of the pieces and excavated beneath them looking for the end of a ley-line.
E. Rose (NAU), 3 October 1983.

September 1986. Photographer reports that the site has been vandalized by 'treasure-hunters'.
Of two large dressed stones eastern one has vanished, western one damaged. (He has photos before and after). He is trying to get site restored.
Information from D. Gurney (NAU).
See correspondence (S2) in file.
E. Rose (NAU), 26 September 1986.

Before 27 August 1990.
After the vandalism the remains of the cross were removed by Breckland District Council and later destroyed. A granite kerb stone of 'great age' was erected at the site to mark the former location of the cross.
See Correspondence (S2).
A. Beckham (HES), 12 December 2019.

Details and copies of photos and press cutting (S3) in file.

Monument Types

  • CROSS (Medieval to 21st Century - 1066 AD to 2100 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TL 88 SE 48.
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Medieval. Thetford.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
<S1>Article in Serial: Cozens-Hardy B. 1934. Norfolk Crosses. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XXV Pt II pp 297-336. p 301; Pl 2.
<S2>Correspondence: Deacon, J.. 1978-1990. Letters from Mr J Deacon concerning Barnham Cross..
<S3>Newspaper Article: 1986. Eastern Daily Press. 27 September.

Related records - none

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