Cross Base at Great Mitton
On my recent travels through the Ribble Valley I came across the base of a medieval cross at Great Mitton. Two questions I might ask are:
Why was it erected?
Medieval Christianity loved symbols and holy objects. It may have been a shrine to a saint or a spiritual focus point. Crosses often marked the local market or centre of a village. It may have been a kind of sign post for pilgrims visiting the great abbey at Whalley.
Why was it removed?
Reformation and Puritan Christians believed such objects aroused superstition and quite rightly suspected their origins lay in the mists of paganism. They therefore had them removed. A great pity in my opinion, but they did what they had to. Removal of the base was deemed unnecessary as it had no spiritual symbolism; its heaviness may have helped make up a few minds.