Relhan Collection : 281 Sawston village cross and stocks, showing church in background

Relhan, Richard, 1782-1844

Relhan Collection

<p style='text-align: justify;'><p>1819</p><p>Labelled ‘Representation of the Ancient Cross at Sawston’. Teversham 1943 records that in C19 the only picturesque spot in Sawston was the street end of Church Lane, where the cross stood. In 1815, when known as Camping Close, the site was visited by a Cambridge news correspondent, known only as TN, who wrote in the <i>Table Book</i> (W Hone in Teversham 1943) that on a country walk he met a group meeting around a cross ‘<i>enclosed in a small covered building’</i> near an ancient sycamore and the village stocks. In C16 the cross had been recorded as a tiled building, of which the ruins survived in 1815, and his friend explained that the meeting was to discuss the sale of the cross, and TN made a sketch of it, after which only the stump remained. The shaft was afterwards replaced but the top cross-piece fell off during removal. It was this state that Relhan recorded in 1819. He shows the location much as today, with the church in the background (just visible through trees), but the stocks and ancient house have gone. A new cross-piece was attached in the 1880s, and in 1919 the whole cross was converted into the war memorial which still stands at the road junction (Church Street and High Street) on a triangular island, recording names of Sawston men lost in WW1, WW2 and the Korean War (one soldier). Sawston had no need of a market cross for it never had a market, so this was probably a processional cross, marking a route to the church from C14 and C15. The survival of the cross before the C20 might have been due to the Catholic influence of the Huddlestons, Sawston’s principal family. </p><p>Duffy 2005; Teversham 1943; VCH 1978</p></p>


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