Thursday, 3 November 2011

News - In search of stump (Worsbrough)

I AM among of people who are taking an active interest in the whereabouts of an item antiquity, an old ‘stump’ cross, that has gone missing in Worsbrough Village, near Barnsley.

It stood near the crossroads in Worsbrough Park some years ago. The land was subsequently owned by the Coal Board and was covered over. It was at this stage that it disappeared.

There are rumours as to what happened, including it being thrown in a pond or ditch or being used as hard core to create a roundabout at the top of the park. I find that suggestion hard to believe.

I have found records of this stump cross from 1688. These stumps (sometimes known as crosses) were common features in medieval villages, acting as meeting points. There might also have been regular visits by the local priest who would give prayers. So these crosses were an important part of medieval communities.

Members of Worsbrough History Society are actively trying find out what actually happened to it, so we can narrow our search. Any information we would receive would be included in our collection of evidence which we are intending to forward to a couple of archaeology departments at local universities.

We have approached two universities who have expressed an interest in making an official investigation but obviously any information we might be able to give to them would be an enormous help to all concerned.

I’m writing to ask if allow us to appeal for people who remember the cross to come forward with their information. Any information at all could prove really useful.

We are particularly anxious for someone to give us a drawing or even a photograph so we can know exactly what we are looking for.

Many accounts of the cross have been contradictory so we need to clarify things so that our findings are concise and as accurate as possible for any archaeological investigations that might follow.

Christine Summers, Park View, Barnsley

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