Edale Cross (aka Champion Cross), Kinder Scout

Record ID:  60573 / MNA111979
Record type:  Monument
Protected Status: Scheduled Monument
NT Property:  Kinder Scout; Midlands
Civil Parish:  Hayfield; High Peak; Derbyshire
Grid Reference:  SK 0771 8609
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Summary

A freestanding medieval wayside and boundary cross which stands on the parish boundary between Hayfield and Edale next to the ancient moorland track between the two villages. It also marked the edge of the former royal forest of Peak Forest. The cross stands 1.6 m. high, with a width at the arms of 0.49 m. and at the base of 0.29 m. It was designated and protected as a Scheduled Monument in 1934.

Identification Images (1)

Edale Cross (August 2019) © Roger Bennett
Edale Cross (August 2019) © Roger Bennett

Monument Types

  • CROSS (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Description

[1] A freestanding medieval wayside and boundary cross which stands on the parish boundary between Hayfield and Edale next to the ancient moorland track between the two villages. It also marked the edge of the former royal forest of Peak Forest. The cross comprises a dressed gritstone shaft of rectangular section surmounted by an integral equal-armed cross head above a band-like collar. The cross head is out of proportion with the shaft which suggests that the latter is shorter than it was originally and that it may formerly have been set into a socle or base stone. Currently the overall height is 1.6m while the shaft, from ground to collar, is 85cm high and measures 34cm from east-west by 26cm from north-south. It has chamfered edges and is wedged into the ground by packing stones. The collar is 10cm wide and the cross head, which faces south towards the track noted above, is 65cm high and would have been approximately the same distance across but for damage done in the past to its west arm. Both faces of the cross head are decorated with an incised inner cross which contains, on the south side, the inscription HG 1610 and, on the north side, four sets of initials: WD, EH, JH and JS. The end of the east arm of the cross is also inscribed JH and it is assumed that all of these groups of letters are later graffiti while the date and its associated letters may relate to a 17th century survey (extract from Historic England's Scheduling description for Edale Cross, amended 1994 - SNA66471).

[2] Gritstone Cross stands 1.60m high with a width at the arms of 0.49m and at the base 0.29m. The cross stands beside the ancient bridle path from Edale (Hope) to Hayfield, on the summit, approximately 540m (1800ft) facing south at the meeting of the parishes of Hope and Glossop. The monument bears initials and date: - IG 1610 but this is possibly a road surveyors mark as the cross is likely to be medieval (FMW report 1991).

Tudor T.C (1934 Vol.55) notes the "Edale" or "Champion" cross is a boundary cross of course gritstone beside the track from Hayfield to Edale and is probably on its original site. The inscription IG 1610 on it probably refers to John Gell, a 17th century surveyor, who made road survey of the Peak Forest.

Gee P. (1985) suggests Edale Cross sited as a boundary marker by the monks of Basingwerke Abbey near Holywell in North Wales, was re-erected by Thomas Gee at the time when Napoleon was rampaging across Europe. The cross had been laying broken and neglected but Thomas was criticised bacause he carved his own initials and the date 1810 on the medieval monument. Also on the stone are the initials of the farmer who helped.

The cross is heavily weatherd and the left arm of the cross (as you face it) has been damaged, though this is not recent. Recent work has re-established the cross to an upright position. The cross is heavilly visited, and there are signs of erosion around the base (Potter, 1987 - SZE3327).

[3] A gritstone cross standing 1.6 metres high, 0.49 metres wide across the arms and 0.29 metres wide across the base. It is called the 'Edale' or 'Champion' Cross. It has chamfered edges, traces of Saxon-style knotwork on its front and a raised band below the cross-arms. The knotwork could suggest a pre-Conquest date for its erection, however the chamfered edges imply a post-Conquest date. It is possible that it was originally made in the early Medieval period and re-worked later on. The initials are either 'IG' or 'HG' and the date is 1610'. This is likely to be John Gell, a 171 " century road surveyor (Tudor 1934). The cross is now partly enclosed within a three-sided dry-stone enclosure which is open to the adjacent trackway.

According to one commentator it was erected as a boundary marker for Merivale Abbey's estate in this area (Gee, 1985). However, other published interpretations are that is the boundary marker for the parishes of Hope and Glossop (Tudor 1934) and the point where three wards of the Royal Forest of the Peak met - Longdendale, Ashop & Edale and the Champion country (Cox quoted in Tudor 1934; Dodd & Dodd 1980). The Champion was the term for good land which referred to the southern ward of the Royal forest. It may also be a guidestone for the adjacent Hayfield to Edale packhorse route which dates to at least the 13th century (Bevan, B. 1999 - SZY211)

References

  • --- SZE27742 - Photograph - colour: Edale Cross, Kinder Scout, High Peak Estate. 1 M. 11.

  • --- SZE47343 - Photograph - black and white: Harry Beamish. 01/07/1987. Edale cross, Kinder Scout, High Peak Estate. 0.5 M. 0.

  • --- SZE47344 - Photograph - black and white: Harry Beamish. 01/07/1987. Edale cross, Kinder Scout, High Peak Estate. 0.5 M. 1.

  • <1> SNA66471 - Scheduling record: Historic England. National Heritage List for England. https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1008615.

  • <2> SZE3327 - Unpublished document: Paul C Potter. 1987. The National Trust Archaeological Survey - Kinder Scout (High Peak), Derbyshire.

  • <3> SZY211 - National Trust Report: Bill Bevan. 1999. Archaeological Survey of Kinder Park Hall. Feature 64.

Designations

Other Statuses and References

  • HER/SMR Reference (External): 5003
  • National Monuments Record Reference: SK08NE4
  • National Park
  • Site of Special Scientific Interest (Geological & Biologi)

Associated Events

  • ENA1044 - Field Survey, The National Trust Archaeological Survey - Kinder Scout, Derbyshire

Associated Finds

None Recorded

Related Records

None Recorded