There are various ways to find this. When we came here, we started from the Barton and Crosland Moor side, parking up on Ivy Street and walking to the fields at the end of the road. From here, walk along the track to your left and just over 100 yards on there’s a small footpath on your right that veers down the slope. Walk on here for another 100 yards, keeping your eyes peeled for another path on your right that almost doubles-back on you, heading into the trees. Another fifty yards along and you’ll see some tell-tale stonework!
Archaeology & History
Highlighted on the 1854 OS-map, the site has seen better days. Although the waters today emerge from a blasted rock face and collect into a relatively modern round stone trough, there is a larger square stone structure just a few yards away that seems to have been where water was previously collected. According to local antiquarian Andy H, this was known to be a local Wishing Well in bygone times, but apart from this there are no literary accounts about the place. The area was decimated by 19th century Industrialists who, as is well known, destroyed much of our indigenous histories and sites—and the Huddersfield district was particularly hard hit by them.
On a recent visit to the site—in superb pouring rain!—the waters were choked with modern trash and bottles, making it unsafe to drink. This is surely a good case for renovation, then stuck on some local tourist route to ensure better, more appreciative attention.
The cross is at the roadside on the south side of Barton Lane at the cross roads with the minor road between Cross House Farm and Barton House.
Archaeology and History
All that survives is the socketed base of a mediaeval cross on a raised paved platform with low raised square section pillars at each corner. Behind the original cross socket stands a large stone block (Described in the Historic England citation as “probably part of a cheesepress“) surmounted by a pyramidal block upon which a modern carved stone cross has been placed.
Henry Taylor (1906) writes in his Ancient Crosses and Holy Wells of Lancashire:
“Barton Cross. These words occur on the map in ancient Gothic letters in Barton Lane, one and a half miles in a westerly direction from Goosnargh Church, showing that in the year 1848 a complete cross stood here. The site is at the intersection of country lanes, and the map shows a small recess or lay-bye in which the cross was planted. Mr. Collinson [Reverend S.E. Collinson, Vicar of Broughton] writes that the base was thrown into a neighbouring pit at the time Daniel’s pedestal was buried. The base and part of the shaft of the Barton Cross have lately been restored to the old site. A new cross has been erected just behind by Mr. Myerscough. Mr. Collinson tells me that in going through some of the old parish registers he found an entry referring to ‘Barton Christ’. He not unnaturally thinks that there must have been a figure on the Cross giving rise to the name. Nothing else would account for it. The neighbourhood of Barton (a pre-Norman settlement) is interesting and deserves a thorough investigation.”
The ‘Daniel’s pedestal’ refers to Daniels Cross, near Broughton, of which Taylor writes:
“The base was removed about sixty years ago. It is now in a neighbouring pit. The facts were obtained from an old man who helped at the destruction of this landmark.”
The pyramidal stone block upon which the modern cross stands is inscribed on the northern face: “Barton Cross re-erected by Councillor R. Myerscough of Preston 1901” while the southern face is inscribed: “Refurbished by Barton Parish council 2000“.
At the roadside, on the south side of Barton Lane, where it crosses the minor road joining Cross House Farm and Barton House, you’ll see the Barton Cross standing upright. You can’t miss it!.
Archaeology & History
Apparently never before described, this stone has very likely been removed from another locality and cut to shape to form part of the surrounding platform base to Barton Cross, where it is at the southwest corner. It has ten cup marks.
Until or unless more such stones are located, it is a unique example of rock art in this part of Lancashire.
Henry Taylor, in his 1906 work The Ancient Crosses and Holy Wells of Lancashire writes inter alia about the Barton Cross that it had been demolished sometime after 1848, and that the base and part of of the Cross shaft had been ‘lately restored to the old site‘. Thus the cup-marked stone may or not be in its original position as part of the Cross surround, and may have just been a conveniently available slab of stone that was used, rather than a deliberate use of a pre-existing sacred stone.
Taylor, Henry, The Ancient Crosses and Holy Wells of Lancashire, Sherratt & Hughes, Manchester, 1906.