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Archaeology, folklore & myth of Britain's pre-christian sites & heritage: stone circles, holy wells, maypoles, tombs, archaic cosmologies and human consciousness. Everyone welcome - even Southerners!


    THE EMMOTT CROSS at Colne

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    Sunbright57

    Join date : 2011-02-10
    Age : 59
    Location : Nelson - the one in Lancashire sorry to say!

    THE EMMOTT CROSS at Colne

    Post  Sunbright57 on Sat Feb 26, 2011 10:05 am

    Os grid reference SD.888954. At the north side of St Bartholomew's church-yard, Colne, stands the Medieval Emmott Cross or Touch Cross. It was re-erected here in 1967 by local historian Mr Wilfred Spencer and a team of volunteers having being removed from the grounds of Emmott Hall, Laneshawbridge, when the old hall was being pulled down. The cross had stood for centuries close to the famous Hallown Well, both of which were highly venereated by pilgrims travelling between Whalley Abbey and Yorkshire. It appears that originally the cross had stood at the side of the Stanbury to Haworth road over Herders, close by Emmott.

    The cross shaft stands 7 feet tall and is referred to as of the English Gothic style, probably 13th century. It stands in an octagonal socketed stone base which is 2 foot high and 4 foot square. Its slender octagonal shaft tapers away towards the top where there is a carved capital or corona - this may once have held a cross head or some other religious object. There used to be some faint lettering on the shaft but this has now worn away. A local historian Dr Whitaker described the lettering as I.H.S. along with the Greek omega symbol.

    It was to all intense and purposes a preaching cross to which pilgrims would congregate and listen intently to the word of God and many would be baptised in the Hallown Well at the same time. In the penal times of the 16th century the cross was in great use, but by the 17th century it was being referred to as a "papist cross". During this period in history it suffered damage and the shaft broken in two places; the cross-head taken away and smashed. For safety reasons the cross-shaft was removed to Colne church-yard but returned to the grounds of Emmott Hall in 1728 when relative calm had returned.

    The slender cross shaft and its hefty base are said to weigh about 2 tons and I have no doubt it does. It is now grade 11 listed. The name Touch Cross probably comes about in the sense that pilgrims touched the cross in the hope of a safe pilgrimage, or the name may be something to do with a troop of soldiers who were stationed at the hall in the past. They touched the stone too, but for different reasons - that they would live to fight another day in battle.



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    Sunbright57

    Join date : 2011-02-10
    Age : 59
    Location : Nelson - the one in Lancashire sorry to say!

    The Emmott Cross at Colne

    Post  Sunbright57 on Sun Feb 27, 2011 2:07 pm

    Paul, how do I put a couple of photos on with this topic. Or are we unable to submit photos without them being checked etc by Admin. study [right]

    Aha! - dunnit!

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    Paulus

    Join date : 2009-08-20
    Location : Yorkshire

    Re: THE EMMOTT CROSS at Colne

    Post  Paulus on Sun Mar 27, 2011 7:40 am

    Hi Ray -

    Hope it's OK, but I've added your account of the Emmotto Cross onto TNA, here:

    http://megalithix.wordpress.com/2011/03/27/emmott-cross-colne/

    AndrewHS

    Join date : 2012-03-27

    Re: THE EMMOTT CROSS at Colne

    Post  AndrewHS on Tue Mar 27, 2012 2:37 am

    My late father Wilfred Spencer was one of those who was involved in moving the Emmott Cross to St Bartholomew's churchyard, Colne, in 1967. I believe that the capital was already broken into several pieces and someone had removed them and attempted unsuccessfully to repair them with mortar. The base and column were still in situ at Emmott Hall. The capital was successfully repaired with technical help from CIBA, the manufacturers of Araldite adhesive.
    After the base had been moved to the churchyard two workmen attempted to lift the column and insert it into the socket. Unfortunately as they were doing so the column fell to the ground and broke into three pieces. Again with help from CIBA the three pieces were reassembled and the cross could then be re-erected. An article describing the restoration was published in CIBA's trade magazine, "CIBA Review". Photographs of the broken and repaired capital were also taken and I think that these will now be in the Wilfred Spencer collection, maintained by Lancashire County Council. For information try contacting the Pendle Heritage Centre in Barrowford, Nelson, or the public library in Colne.
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    Sunbright57

    Join date : 2011-02-10
    Age : 59
    Location : Nelson - the one in Lancashire sorry to say!

    Re: THE EMMOTT CROSS at Colne

    Post  Sunbright57 on Tue Mar 27, 2012 10:44 am

    Thanks Andrew for that very interesting information on the Emmott Cross. It has always fascinated me. And you are the son of the late Wilfred Spencer which makes things even more interesting. I don't think I'm related to you because my surname is "Spencer". We originated from Lincolnshire - de Spencer's I believe ?
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    QDanT

    Join date : 2011-05-29
    Location : Earby used to be in Yorkshire

    Re: THE EMMOTT CROSS at Colne

    Post  QDanT on Sat Mar 31, 2012 6:29 pm

    Sunbright57 wrote:Os grid reference SD.888954. At the north side of St Bartholomew's church-yard, Colne,

    SD 888 954 is about 1 mile south east of the Buttertubs on Muker common above Swaledale !
    Colne church is SD 888 401
    see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dyscalculia
    cheers Danny


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    Sunbright57

    Join date : 2011-02-10
    Age : 59
    Location : Nelson - the one in Lancashire sorry to say!

    Re: THE EMMOTT CROSS at Colne

    Post  Sunbright57 on Sun Apr 01, 2012 11:25 am

    Oh, okay thanks Danny. You are brilliant as all these co-ordinates. Smile

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