Arguable the most well known landmark in Lymm, a true focal point of village life
The iconic Lymm Cross, the only Grade I listed structure in the Warrington area stands proudly on ancient steps carved from sandstone in the heart of the village centre. The modern cross is a Queen Victoria Memorial, which commemorates her diamond jubilee in 1897. The "original cross" can be dated back to the middle 17th Century. Crosses of late medieval times had plain shafts and often had masonry canopies at the top of rows of steps. These features evidently belong to the monument at Lymm but the Cross we see today might have possibly replaced an older one from Saxon or even Roman times.
Its shaft stands in a square pavilion of red sandstone with four square corner pillars supporting the base of which one pillar bares the inscription 1775. It has a stone roof with a surmounted by gables to each face and ball finials. Above the cross is an extension which carries a stone ball and an ornate weather vane. Featured on the east, south and west gables of The Cross are bronze sundials of 1897 displaying the inscriptions "We are a Shadow", "Save Time" and "Think of the Last". At the foot of The Cross is a set of replica stocks which replaced the original ones dating back to 1775, the original supports bore the letters TW and IB. These would have been used as a means of rudimentary justice in by-gone days.
History behind the Cross
From the beginning of Christianity to the reformation in the 16th century, thousands of crosses were erected, they were once common place. After once being common place across the country, Lymm Cross is now one of the only few remaining of its kind. Crosses were originally there to remind people of their commitment to God - with the name and sometimes the shape of the structures evidently a testimonial to Christ's crucifixion. They have also had many practical uses such as road and boundary markers, memorials and preaching places. After once being common place across the country, Lymm Cross is now one of the only few remaining of its kind.
The purpose of the cross remains a mystery. Many have commented that it resembles a market cross in a market square but there is no evidence that there has ever been a market in Lymm. The Cross may originally have been built to mark as a meeting place or a designated point for religious services before the church in Lymm existed. It is also rumoured that the sandstone base of the historic Lymm sandstone cross, was part of the original shrine to Minerva who was the Roman goddess of Wisdom, arts and trades. All that is known for sure however is that the distinctive sandstone landmark can be traced back to the 14th century. Today it is a common meeting place; it is where the town crier does his proclamations. The beautiful sandstone landmark provides the perfect viewing point to watch the passing processions of Lymm Dickensian, May Queen, Rushbearing festivals.
View our web camera overlooking Lymm Cross.
Landmarks in Lymm
- Bridgewater Canal
- Lymm Dam
- Lymm Heritage Trail
- Lymm Railway
- Slitting Mill and Gorge
- Trans Pennine Trail
View details on history in Lymm.