The Journal Of Antiquities

Ancient Sites In Great Britain & Southern Ireland

The Sproxton Cross, Leicestershire

SK 8566 2490. The cross stands in St Bartholomew’s churchyard on Saltby road at the far north side of Sproxton village. The A607 road runs along the south-side of the village. Grantham is 5 miles to the north. The 12th century Norman parish church can be found on a hill, just north of Manor farm.

In the churchyard, near the south porch, stands a limestone cross dating from the 10th or 11th century that is referred to as being Anglo-Norse in origin. It stands at 7 foot 9 inches on a 19th century base-stone that is over 2 foot square. Sometimes described as a “weeping cross” because of the way it leans! The monument is said to be the only complete cross in Leicestershire. It’s wheel-head is rather odd-shaped and small in size but very nice all the same; the rectangular shaft has what is called a “raised collar” halfway up.

Of the three faces, the east side is heavily worn, due to it being used as a footbridge over a stream near Saltby; the west face has two creatures, one of which is the eagle of St John the Evangelist. Lower down a standing beast with raised feet that may be a wolf with a broad, curving tail that ends with interlacing. The north face of the cross has interlocking circles. On the side of the cross winding stems forming circles, while the wheel-head also has stems and foliage within the curves.

The Sproxton Cross (After Nichols).

The church of St Bartholomew is a Norman foundation of the 12th century and does not appear to have any earlier, Saxon work. In the south-west wall there is an interesting stone with zig-zag moulding. This is thought to date from the 11th-12th century.




Nichols, John., History and Antiquities of The County of Leicestershire, 1794.

Routh, T.E., Transactions of The Leicestershire Archaeological Society, Vol XX, 1937.