Record Details

NHER Number:8566
Type of record:Monument
Name:Late Saxon or medieval cross on east side of Yarmouth Road


This stone cross stands on the edge of the main road. It has four carved panels depicting the Evangelistic symbols of an angle, lion, ox and eagle. Only the shaft and socket stone now remain although the sockets for the upper parts of the cross can also be seen. This has been suggested to be 11th century in date although it is now thought to be 14th century.


  • The carved medieval cross on Yarmouth Road in Hemsby  © Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service


Grid Reference:TG 4972 1669
Map Sheet:TG41NE

Full description

Stone cross with four carved panels under a pillar ?early 11th century. Evangelistic symbols angel, lion, ox and eagle.
C. Green (NCM) has detail drawings.
See (S1) and (S2).
R. R. Clarke (NCM).

23 January 1991. Visit. On verge of main road.
Base 90cm (3 feet) square with stop angles. Stub of shaft about 90 cm (3 feet) high; symbols visible on two faces in good condition. Other two obscured by ivy and brambles. Remains of sockets for upper part. (S3) dates this to 14th century and a medieval date seems more correct, as S. Margeson (NCM) agrees.
E. Rose (NLA), 24 January 1991

September 1998. Scheduled.
Scheduling Description:
The monument includes the remains of a standing stone cross located on the east side of the Yarmouth Road to the south of the town of Hemsby and about 50m to the east of the redundant railway line. The cross, which is Listed Grade II, is 14th century in date and includes the socket stone and the lower part of the shaft.
The socket stone is set into a bank; it measures 0.71m square at the base and 0.39m in height, rising through chamfered corners with stop angles to an octagonal section on the surface. The square socket hole cut into the surface of the socket stone measures 0.4m square. The lower part of the shaft, which is mortised into the socket stone, is 0.36m square, and is broken off at a height of 0.74m. Each of the four faces of the shaft bears a small recessed panel, 0.19m from the base of the shaft and 0.23m square. The north face portrays an eagle, the east a winged bull, the south an angel and the west a winged lion. They are carved in low relief and each figure is holding a banner or scroll. It is thought that the designs on the four panels represent the four evangelists, St John, St Luke, St Matthew and St Mark, respectively. The full height of the cross in its present form is 1.13m.
Information from (S4) and (S5).

It is suggested in (S6) that this and several other crosses and stones in the parish may have functioned as santuary markers. Cozens-Hardy is however dismissive of the sanctuary marker theory, which he regarded as "…unsupported by any documentary evidence" (S1).
P. Watkins (HES), 21 August 2020.

Monument Types

  • CROSS (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • CROSS (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status

  • Scheduled Monument
  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TG 41 NE 4 [2].
---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 - Late Saxon. Hemsby.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Photograph: FNA 22 to 24. Hemsby's Saxon cross..
<S1>Article in Serial: Cozens-Hardy B. 1934. Norfolk Crosses. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XXV Pt II pp 297-336. p 313; Pl 9.
<S2>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1963. Hemsby's Cross: a relic of Saxon piety. 8 April.
<S3>Designation: Historic England. National Heritage List for England. List Entry 1216601.
<S4>Designation: English Heritage. 1990-2013. English Heritage Scheduling Notification. Notification. DNF368.
<S5>Designation: English Heritage. 1994? -2011?. English Heritage Digital Designation Record. Record. DNF368.
<S6>Article in Serial: Gibbon, W. 1803. Observations on the remains of a stone cross or pillar at Hemsby. Archaeologia. Vol XIV pp 40-54.

Related records - none

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