Dawe’s Cross, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire

Cross (destroyed):  OS Grid Reference – TL 455 578

Archaeology & History

This is one of several medieval stone crosses in Cambridge that were destroyed several centuries ago.  This particular one was erected on a three-stepped stone base at the old crossroads where, today, the modern A1307 of Regent Street meets the A603 Lensfield Road.  It was described in an old Field Book of 1575 as standing being beside an old poplar tree, long gone.  Mr H.P. Stokes (1915) gave us a short account of the site, telling:

“In describing the lane called “Deepway” between the London Road and the Hadstock Way and known as “King’s Lane” from the latter road to Hinton Way, mention was made of a Cross (called Dawe’s Cross) which stood at what is now known as Hyde Park Corner.  Dawe’s Cross is often mentioned in ancient deeds, and in an old Field Book, which formerly belonged to the vestry of the Church of St Andrew the Great, there was a most interesting representation of it.  This is here reproduced…from a copy in the celebrated Bowtell MSS.”

The cross stood along one of Alfred Watkins’ (1932) “archaic tracks”, or leys, in this area—although he wasn’t aware of its existence.

References:

  1. Stokes, H.P., Outside the Barnwell Gate, Cambridge Antiquarian Society 1915.
  2. Watkins, Alfred, Archaic Tracks round Cambridge, Simpkin Marshall: London 1932.

© Paul BennettThe Northern Antiquarian

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