A listed grade II structure, believed by many to be of Roman origin (possibly because of its proximity to the Roman road), supposedly marking the mid point between London and Edinburgh. English heritage, however suggest that its origins may be much later, perhaps 17th or 18th century. Link
. Present thinking (Link
) considers it as a mediŠval route marker for Lancashire pilgrims on route to Whalley Abbey.
The cross marks the route of the Roman road from Manchester to Ribchester, also known as Watling Street. The stone shaft has a socket cut into the top which originally supported a cross head or stone ball. The structure would have served as a market cross for Affetside and surrounding hamlets and possibly as a place for preaching and public proclamations. This form of standing cross would have been relatively common in mediŠval settlements. However they were largely swept away in the upheavals of the Reformation during the mid 16th and 17th centuries, making Affetsideĺs cross a relatively rare survival.
Affetside Cross is designated as a scheduled Ancient Monument under the provisions of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act of 1979 (National Monument 25721).
The Millennium Green was created on the site of a redundant bus turnaround which had been disused for a number of years. (see SD7513 : Affetside Millennium Green
for further information). SD7513 : Roman Cross at Affetside
shows a picture of the cross before the Millennium Green was constructed.
There is an interesting account of the history of Affetside and its cross on the wikipedia page Link