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Legs Cross

Coordinates: 54°35′50″N 1°40′51″W / 54.5972°N 1.6808°W / 54.5972; -1.6808
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54°35′50″N 1°40′51″W / 54.5972°N 1.6808°W / 54.5972; -1.6808

Legs Cross

Legs Cross is an Anglo-Saxon cross in the parish of Bolam, County Durham, England, about 4 miles (6.4 km) north of Piercebridge on the Pilgrims' Way (the modern B6275 and the old Roman road of Dere Street). It is a Grade II* listed structure,[1] and a scheduled monument.[2]

It was probably erected in the 9th century.[1][2]

The sandstone cross is now eroded to an 2.6 metres (8 ft 6 in) high obelisk-like structure, on a triangular base.[2][3] Some interlaced patterning remains.[4]

Although it once had an inscription reading "LEGS X", which was chiselled off post 1966, giving rise to the name.[3] It has been suggested that the cross was constructed from Roman masonry (nearby Piercebridge was once the site of a Roman fort) and that the inscription may have originally celebrated the 20th Legion (LEGIONIS).[citation needed]

Other theories for the origin of name include the fact that "legge" is the Anglo-Saxon word meaning "boundary."[1][5] It has been also suggested that James VI of Scotland (later James I of England) rested here, with his legs crossed, on his way south to claim the English throne.[6]


  1. ^ a b c Historic England. "LEGS CROSS (1323020)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 12 April 2014.
  2. ^ a b c Historic England. "Legs Cross (1018638)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Legg's Cros". Megalithic Portal. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  4. ^ "Legs Cross, Bolam, Durham". The Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Stone Sculpture. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  5. ^ Pevsner, Nikolaus; Williamson, Elizabeth (1983). County Durham. Yale University Press. p. 68. ISBN 9780300095999.
  6. ^ Chambers, Robert (1830). The Life of King James the First: In Two Volumes, Volume 2. Constable. p. 21.

External links[edit]

Media related to Legs Cross at Wikimedia Commons