The Northern Antiquarian Forum

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 DOWNHAM STONE (CROSS BASE) SD 782 444

    Share
    avatar
    lowergate

    Join date : 2010-11-01
    Age : 68
    Location : CLITHEROE

    THE DOWNHAM STONE (CROSS BASE) SD 782 444

    Post  lowergate on Wed Apr 06, 2011 1:38 am

    THE 'Downham Stone' (cross base)SD 782 444

    A map Bill Shannon found (uncatalogued) in the National Archives of Downham for 1595 marks a cross at the above location.

    Also on the map are some archery butts just west of the town, along the road to Chatburn - and I think you can still see traces of these on the ground.

    The cross on the old map is not recorded. From the map I judge it to have once stood on the Downham to Chatburn road near to the Rimmington road where there is now a milestone. Opposite the milestone is the 'Downham Stone' SD 782 444 (said to mark the site of a Roman grave in local legand). This 31 inch long stone, which protrudes into the road by fourteen inches and stands a maximum of 10 inches above the road surface, may be the pedestal of the cross recorded on the map.

    I am leading a short 2-3 mile walk around Downhan for the Lancashire History Society in June. I will post details of the walk and a copy of the 1595 map on TNA soon.

    avatar
    Sunbright57

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

    The Downham Common Cross Base:

    Post  Sunbright57 on Wed Apr 06, 2011 6:54 am

    John thanks for this info. If that's the case, why as it never been referred to as a "cross base". It would be difficult to identify it as such because the stone goes under the wall. I have always known it as 'The Great Stone' and a small boulder that covers the grave of two Roman soldiers killed by Brigantes. It probably originally came from the field opposite. Lord Assheton, apparently, knows a great deal about this stone. But I welcome this new information. Thanks John. Ray.
    Photo of the Downham Common cross base. Its socket hole is now filled with rainwater. Don't know where the cross-shaft went to ?

    Photo copyright © Ray Spencer 2011.

    And, the Roman Stone (Great Stone) underneath the wall of Downham Hall beside the main entrance. Do the bodies of two Roman soldiers lie beneath this small boulder ?

    Copyright © Ray Spencer 2010.


    Last edited by Sunbright57 on Sun Jun 12, 2011 3:27 pm; edited 3 times in total
    avatar
    lowergate

    Join date : 2010-11-01
    Age : 68
    Location : CLITHEROE

    Re: THE DOWNHAM STONE (CROSS BASE) SD 782 444

    Post  lowergate on Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:16 pm

    The Assheton family in times past were great anti-Catholics and a 'Romish Cross', as it would have seemed to them, could easily be corrupted to 'Roman Grave'.

    The wall covering the stone was built in the early 19th century and the tree roots behind the wall cover the stone even more.

    I doubt that we shall ever know the full story but the cross on the map is at that spot.

    The only other cross base in Downham is that cut into natural rock on Downham Green (N of the Roman road on the way down to Downham Mill and the old pack-horse bridge over Swanside Beck) SD 789 450 (Lancs SMR, PRN 3268).

    Also on Downham Green are two sets of rabbit warrens - recorded on the said map.

    One cross base that I would love to find Ray, is that that stood by the crossroads above Twiston on Annel (or Hannel) Cross Moor.

    john

    avatar
    Sunbright57

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

    The Downham Stone (cross base)

    Post  Sunbright57 on Wed Apr 06, 2011 2:52 pm

    Yes the Assheton's are implicated in the trial and execution of John Paslew (1537), last abbot of Whalley abbey. He put a curse on Sir Ralph Assheton, or was it Nicholas, something like every 10th child in every generation of the family would not survive. The curse appears to have come true, though I don't know whether it still has any strength today. The present Lord Assheton is said to be a pleasant enough chap, happy to tell anyone about the Roman stone that is embedded beneath his wall !
    study
    avatar
    Paulus

    Join date : 2009-08-20
    Location : Yorkshire

    Re: THE DOWNHAM STONE (CROSS BASE) SD 782 444

    Post  Paulus on Sat Apr 09, 2011 8:28 am

    Ey up John! Wink

    Hope things are OK at your end.

    lowergate wrote:...One cross base that I would love to find Ray, is that that stood by the crossroads above Twiston on Annel (or Hannel) Cross Moor.

    Howzabout we get up for a wander and have a scout round to see if we can find that, or owt else nearby? It'd be good to meet up again John - and now Dave's just about ready aswell.

    Take care - Paul Cool
    avatar
    lowergate

    Join date : 2010-11-01
    Age : 68
    Location : CLITHEROE

    Re: THE DOWNHAM STONE (CROSS BASE) SD 782 444

    Post  lowergate on Sun Apr 10, 2011 12:44 am

    I mentioned above that the Downham Green cross base was cut into the 'natural rock'. Upon visiting the site with a friend yesterday we noticed that the cross base consisted of a large singular piece of coarse millstone grit. These gritstones once formed the summit caps of of the Pennine hills being the last layers to be laid down in a river delta some 360 million years ago.

    Downham and the surrounding area sits upon limestone and the houses here are all built using sandstones, therefore the rock has been introduced to this location - either as a gacial eratic which I very much doubt or by the 'hand of man'.

    We also noted that the Downham Stone (mentioned above) was also of the very same coarse millstine grit (speckled with quartz pebbles). This stone stands by the Roman road as it passes above Downham. The Downham Green cross base rests below the Roman road which runs along the ridge above this spot.

    Could the two stones be contemporary ?

    Hi Paul,

    I am a bit short of a project to occupy my restless mind at the moment. The 'black dog' is biting into my spirit by allowing external illusions from that madhouse of folly that capitalism in its voracious race to the abbiss via unsustainable growth ....... etc .....

    ...... yes, it would be good to meet up for a wander - what about the circle et.al. on Easington Fell ?

    avatar
    Paulus

    Join date : 2009-08-20
    Location : Yorkshire

    Re: THE DOWNHAM STONE (CROSS BASE) SD 782 444

    Post  Paulus on Sun Apr 10, 2011 12:15 pm

    Hi John!

    lowergate wrote:.... yes, it would be good to meet up for a wander - what about the circle et.al. on Easington Fell ?

    Yes yes and yes! I'd be well into venturing round there. There's some 'old woman' place-name on the same plain, which always throws up some intriguing surprises, I've found. Everything's on a bittova hold at the mo, whilst we sort out some family rites, but we should be just about back to normal in a fortnight. Anytime after that John.. I'll have a chat with us mate Paul, from Earby, shortly, who says he could give you a lift and we could make our way up there via Dave's Taxi! Rolling Eyes And if we getta day owt like today's been, it'd be excellent!

    All the best - Paul
    avatar
    lowergate

    Join date : 2010-11-01
    Age : 68
    Location : CLITHEROE

    Re: THE DOWNHAM STONE (CROSS BASE) SD 782 444

    Post  lowergate on Mon Apr 11, 2011 11:55 pm

    In 2 weeks or so it is then.

    Parking just above Walloper Well on top of Waddington Fell.

    'Old Ned & The Wife' - two stone cairns of unknown provenance.

    Let me know when you are free - john
    avatar
    Paulus

    Join date : 2009-08-20
    Location : Yorkshire

    Re: THE DOWNHAM STONE (CROSS BASE) SD 782 444

    Post  Paulus on Tue Apr 12, 2011 2:44 pm

    lowergate wrote:In 2 weeks or so it is then.

    Parking just above Walloper Well on top of Waddington Fell.

    Sounds good to me John! Cool Dave - d' y' think you'll be up for it?

    lowergate wrote:'Old Ned & The Wife' - two stone cairns of unknown provenance.


    Let's suss out their age and nature then John. Look forward to it! Anyone else up for it?

    atb - Paul
    avatar
    Sunbright57

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

    Old Ned and The Wife

    Post  Sunbright57 on Wed Apr 13, 2011 9:28 am

    Sleep Ooops, thought for a moment you were taking Old Ned and his wife with you on your travels. Sorry about that !!

    Sponsored content

    Re: THE DOWNHAM STONE (CROSS BASE) SD 782 444

    Post  Sponsored content


      Current date/time is Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:58 pm