Market Cross, Halesowen, Worcestershire

Cross:  OS Grid Reference – SO 9666 8356

Archaeology & History

Halesowen Cross, when it stood in the village

Halesowen Cross, when it stood in the village

The history of this probable late-medieval monument is fragmentary.  It presently stands in the southeast corner of St John the Baptist churchyard, but used to be in the middle of the old village (when the town actually was a village!).  First erected in 1540 CE, the Victoria County History survey suggested that it may have marked an old boundary.  David Eades (1999) gives the most decent account of the monument, which stands more than nine-feet high and has been re-positioned onto stone steps.  He told:

“It marked the town’s market and fair and may once have come originally from Halesowen Abbey.  It was once possibly more ornate, but religious symbols may have been removed during the Reformation.  After a gale on 22 February, 1908, during which the cross blew down, it was dumped on a rubbish tip.  A local solicitor and clerk to the justices, Mr Alfred Homfrey, rescued it, and Mr Job Garratt, the owner of New Hawne Colliery, paid for its recovery and resurrection in the churchyard.”

References:

  1. Eades, David L., Halesowen, Sutton: London 1999.
  2. Frederick W. Hackwood, Oldbury and Round About in the Worcestershire Corner of the Black Country, Cornish Brothers 1915.

© Paul BennettThe Northern Antiquarian 2016

Market Cross

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Market Cross 52.450003, -2.050594 Market Cross