Record Details

NHER Number:8579
Type of record:Monument
Name:Original site of a medieval cross west of St Mary's Church (Hemsby, poorly located)


Site of medieval stone cross. The associated cross base appears to still survive (see NHER 11738) but it has been moved on at least two occasions so it is unclear exactly where the cross originally stood. It is though likely that it stood to the west of the church, perhaps on the adjacent road junction.

Images - none



Full description

Site of medieval stone cross.

The base of this cross was one of three Hemsby crosses observed by Cozens-Hardy in the 1930s, being the one listed in (S1) 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 (S2) 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 (S3).
Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 21 August 2020.

It is likely that the cross base observed by Gibbon and Cozens-Hardy is the one that now lies to the east of The Street (NHER 11738), as this was apparently moved to it present location when old cottages opposite The Bell Public House were demolished in 1970.
See NHER 11738 for further details.
E. Rose (NAU), 28 September 1988. 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

<S1>Article in Serial: Cozens-Hardy B. 1934. Norfolk Crosses. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XXV Pt II pp 297-336. p 313.
<S2>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.
<S3>Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.

Related records - none

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