lisl

07 Jul 2017 283 views
 
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photoblog image Churchyard Cross at Chew Magna, Somerset

Churchyard Cross at Chew Magna, Somerset

Standing crosses were distributed throughout England and are thought to have numbered more than 12,000. However, their survival since the Reformation has been variable, being much affected by local conditions, attitudes and religious sentiment. In particular, many cross-heads were destroyed by iconoclasts during the 16th and 17th centuries. Less than 2,000 medieval standing crosses, with or without cross-heads, are now thought to exist. The oldest and most basic form of standing cross is the monolith, a stone shaft often set directly in the ground without a base. The most common form is the stepped cross, in which the shaft is set in a socket stone and raised upon a flight of steps; this type of cross remained current from the 11th to 12th centuries until after the Reformation.

Churchyard Cross at Chew Magna, Somerset

Standing crosses were distributed throughout England and are thought to have numbered more than 12,000. However, their survival since the Reformation has been variable, being much affected by local conditions, attitudes and religious sentiment. In particular, many cross-heads were destroyed by iconoclasts during the 16th and 17th centuries. Less than 2,000 medieval standing crosses, with or without cross-heads, are now thought to exist. The oldest and most basic form of standing cross is the monolith, a stone shaft often set directly in the ground without a base. The most common form is the stepped cross, in which the shaft is set in a socket stone and raised upon a flight of steps; this type of cross remained current from the 11th to 12th centuries until after the Reformation.

comments (22)

  • Ray
  • Not in United States
  • 7 Jul 2017, 00:48
This one seems very phallic, Lisl.
Lisl: Trust you, Ray!
  • JMS*
  • Thailand
  • 7 Jul 2017, 03:20
j'ai appris beaucoup de choses de l'histoire religieuse à  travers cette image et surtout des informations qui accompagnent celle-ci.
Lisl: I am very pleased to help
Very ice. I love the look of the stones.
Lisl: Weathered but enduring, Michael
Fascinating info, Lisl. Too bad so many have been altered or destroyed.
Lisl: One local village has four of these, not all in the Churchyard. It is not known why
What a wonderful specimen of what you have so eloquently described, Lisl.
Lisl: It's the best I have come across, Ginnie
  • Chris
  • No Nowhere
  • 7 Jul 2017, 06:31
I hardly notice these things, although, of course, I should. They are so ubiquitous in the land Lisl
Lisl: You couldn't have missed this one, Chris!
  • Philine
  • Germany
  • 7 Jul 2017, 06:49
Thank you very much for your information - I wondered about the form of this cross, but now I understand. Did the people go up the steps to lay down some flowers on the top?
Lisl: I am not sure, Philine, but it seems likely as some have been converted into War Memorials
  • Alan
  • Great Britain (UK)
  • 7 Jul 2017, 07:20
As much I enjoy seeing these, I never give them any thought so your information is very welcome.
Lisl: They have seen much over the years, Alan, and taken as part of the scenery
  • gutteridge
  • Somewhere in deep space
  • 7 Jul 2017, 07:39
I found this very interesting Professor Lisl. I enjoyed reading your responses to the comments, especially to Philine.
Lisl: Thank you for your appreciative comment, Chad
Dommage que les pierres ne soient pas mieux entretenues.
Lisl: They are very ancient, Martine, and have a charm
I have never given much thought to them. There must have been some purpose for them I imagine
Lisl: Sometimes you got a cross before a church - known as preaching crosses
  • Philine
  • Germany
  • 7 Jul 2017, 08:44
"Seven steps to the cross; being seven meditations suitable for Lent, and more particularly for Good Friday"
Lisl: Thank you, Philine
The world has not changed much in 5 centuries then with mosques being ruined just last week.
Lisl: Religious iconoclasm seems never to go away, Mary
Thank you for information Lisl, it's very interesting. Nice granit also
Lisl: Thank you, Marie
Obviously knocked about a bit.
Lisl: But still looking good, eh?
merci pour les informations!! amitiés
Lisl: You are welcome, jean pierre
  • Louis
  • South Africa
  • 7 Jul 2017, 21:41
Another raison de etrè, regarding monoliths. Seen many of them in Ireland and in Portugal and so many stories surrounding them. Some of them even date from before the Celts - makes one think. In Portugal, there are three monoliths, spaced quite some distance from each other. When one would draw a connecting line, it describes the path of the sun on solstice, exactly. Nonetheless, these ancient monuments remain intriguing.
Lisl: Don't they just, Louis, especially the prehistoric ones
  • emily
  • Canada
  • 8 Jul 2017, 04:50
It always saddens me to see a piece of history that once was...
Lisl: This is one of the best preserved, but many a churchyard here has the remains of an ancient cross
  • Anne
  • France
  • 8 Jul 2017, 06:26
Interesting shot.
Lisl: Thank you, Anne
I wonder just how old this one is.
Lisl: It is 15th Century, Brian
a great find and composition Lisl... i appreciate your history about these ancient crosses....petersmile
Lisl: I thought some shutterchancers might be interested in something so old and unusual (apart from England)
I lovely cross and interesting background history to put it in context.
Lisl: Cheri - I still cannot get into your website!

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