The Village Cross

The remains of the Village Cross on the Green outside the Alms Houses - 2006.Crosses were often erected in churchyards to commemorate the burial of plague victims, but there is nothing in existing church records to suggest that this was so. The only picture of a perfect cross is Howlett's engraving of 1807 and this shows it standing in front of Mr. Dolenz's present gateway. (Winthorpe House) It has five steps at the base, a slender shaft about six feet tall and a circular stone at the top. The next reference to a cross was written in 1867, by Wake, in his "History of Collingham," and this is quoted by Stapleton in his "Crosses of Notts." published in 1903. The following is Wake's description:-

"A small cross near the centre of the village has probably been moved there from the churchyard. This cross stands over a well on the Green and is raised on a foundation of modern brickwork. The latter circumstance proves that it has been moved in recent times. Furthermore its situation over a well, (now covered by a pump), serves to support the view, that its present site is not the original one. It was probably so placed by some well, meaning person who misinterpreted the ancient association of crosses and wells. The latter word signified a spring on the surface of the ground, where any passer-by could stop to drink."

A sketch is included and shows its present position on the Village Green in front of Brewer's Cottages. Only the top step and a short section of the shaft remain. The pump was still used in the early 1920's, but about this time a tap was fixed for the six cottages in a central position, on an outer wall. Water was later installed in all six homes; obviously neither Wake nor Stapleton had knowledge of Howlett's 1807 engraving showing an undamaged cross.

In the foreground were an open stream, water splash and footbridge for pedestrians. Perhaps the damage occurred when the first culvert was constructed, but I have so far not discovered the date of this work, only the extension of the culvert to its present length in 1898.

Miss K.E.Euston.

Extract from Focal Point.



The Village Cross or Preaching Cross was the forerunner of the first churches and often denoting the spot where early Christian ministers preached and baptised their converts. They were sometimes on a hill so the people could hear and see the preacher. Mompesson's Cross at Eakring is on a hill, but in most cases they were on the Village Green.

Small villages could not afford to build a church until some rich benefactor came along. In Winthorpe, Roger Pocklington was the main benefactor for All Saints' Church. (Church No. 2) The Rev. Edward Handley was the main benefactor for the present All Saints' Church. (Church No. 3)

The stump of the village cross in Holme is lying amongst some grass opposite the telephone box.