Illustrated Dictionary of British Churches

History and Architecture

Consecration Cross

A geometric cross shape, usually enclosed within a circle, painted on interior and/or exterior walls of medieval churches and sometimes on the altar itself. These stylised crosses were annointed with oil as part of the ceremony officially consecating the church. Many medieval consecrstion crosses survive, for example at Ashby St Ledger, Northamptonshire, and Thornham Parva, Suffolk, to name only two of many. There might be a dozen crosses painted around the interior of a church, and as many again on the exterior.

Related: Altar  

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