Record Details

NHER Number:11738
Type of record:Monument
Name:Medieval socketed cross base


This socketed cross base is thought to have originally stood at the road junction west of the church. It was placed against the end of a row of cottages nearby until these were demolished in 1970, when it was moved to its present site. The earlier site is recorded as NHER 8579.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 4938 1737
Map Sheet:TG41NE

Full description

Socketed cross base. Not in its original location.

According to (S1) local information revealed that the cross base was moved to TG 4937 1730 [1] in 1970, when old cottages it was adjacent to were demolished to make way for new houses. This is consistent with a letter received by a member of the public in 2020 [2], which makes reference to a cross that was found and moved when "…three old cottages were demolished in Pit Road, opposite the Bell Public House". This must therefore be the 'Stone Cross (rems of)' marked on the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map at TG 4935 1737, just to the south of a north-to-south aligned row of three (now demolished) cottages. It should be noted that it present location is approximately 80m to the north of the grid reference noted on (S1), so this was either inaccurate or the stone was moved again after this note was made.

This cross was one of three in Hemsby observed by Cozens-Hardy in the 1930s, being the one listed in (S2) as having lain "Beside a cottage on the other site of the road to, and west of, the church…". This cross base had first been discovered by Rev. W. Gibbon at the beginning of the 19th century. He describes it in (S3) as a "...large hewn stone..." lying west to the west of the church, placed "…close against the end wall of a house, near the entrance into the churchyard from that quarter". It lay upside down, its socket being revealed when it was turned. Gibbon noted that whilst it had clearly been moved at some time, it had probably originally stood nearby, perhaps at the road junction immediately to the west of the church. He also argued that the three Hemsby crosses and a possible cross pedestal or boundary stone he had observed east of the church (NHER 8578) may have functioned as sanctuary markers. Cozens-Hardy was however sceptical of this theory, which he describes in (S2) as "…unsupported by any documentary evidence".

Information from (S1) and (S4).
The uncertain original location of the cross is recorded separately as NHER 8579.
Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 21 August 2020.

Monument Types

  • CROSS (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Photograph: Photographs of remains of Medieval socketed cross base, Hemsby. Colour.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
<S1>Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TG 41 NE 10 [2].
<S2>Article in Serial: Cozens-Hardy B. 1934. Norfolk Crosses. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XXV Pt II pp 297-336. p 313.
<S3>Article in Serial: Gibbon, W. 1803. Observations on the remains of a stone cross or pillar at Hemsby. Archaeologia. Vol XIV pp 40-54. pp 44-45.
<S4>Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.

Related records - none

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