St Giles's Churchyard Cross, Great Longstone

Recent Photograph of St Giles's Churchyard Cross (Great Longstone)

The date of this cross is not known for sure. On the base of the shaft are the letters ‘LD’ and on the bevel just below the letters ‘HE 1656’ and ‘TB’ or ‘FB’. Robert Thornhill, in his booklet ‘Longstone Notes’ suggests 1656 as the date of its restoration, but this was during the Commonwealth period, when crosses were more likely to be destroyed, or defaced, than restored, or indeed erected for the first time, so his interpretation raises questions of its own.

A more recent restoration occurred in 1897, and this is commemorated on a plaque on the south side of the shaft, which reads:

This Ancient Churchyard Cross
was Restored in Loving Memory of
Charles Lewis CORNISH Priest
Vicar of this Parish

The Reverend CORNISH was incumbent for just five years (1841-1846); yet he is also commemorated on a stained-glass window inside the church, so he must have occupied a special place in some of his parishioners' hearts. Even so, he did not please everyone. He was a member of the Oxford Movement - High Church Anglicans - and this so displeased a section of the congregation that they broke away from their church, and founded Little Longstone Congregational Chapel at this time.

After Revd. CORNISH left Longstone, he went to work for one of the Oxford Movement's leaders, Rev. E.B. PUSEY.

There is a close-up of the sign at the base of the Cross below.

Great Longstone, St Giles's Churchyard Cross (Close-up of Base)

(Transcription provided by Alf Beard)

St Giles, Great Longstone, Church Guide, 1997.

Image contributed by Alf Beard on 28th September 2004.
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