In 1906 Alfred Pope wrote ‘The Old Stone Crosses of Dorset’. I have already published an extract about the old market cross at Maiden Newton. He also covered the less well known Churchyard Cross and it is that article which follows.
“In the churchyard, some ten feet to the south of the south transept, is the stump of the octagonal shaft of an old cross, set in a massive square socket, both being of Ham Hill stone. The shaft is three feet three inches high, and brought to a square at the base by convex stops, at the angles it is quite plain and equal sided, and tapers sharply towards the top. The socket, which is very massive, has an octagonal chamfered upper bed, with broaches of bold convex outline; it is three feet square at the base, and one foot eight inches deep, and is set up on a chamfered plinth of Portland stone. It may be questioned if this stump, which is cemented into the socket, and set square with the base, is part of the original shaft of the cross. The original shaft of so solid a base, which may have been mounted on a calvary of several steps, would probably have been more massive and set diagonally with the base and leaded into its mortise.
The only record the writer has been able to find of this cross is in the third edition of Hutchins, vol. ii, published in 1863, where it is described as “The base and part “of the shaft of a small perpendicular cross.”
It is said to have been placed in its present position in comparatively recent years by a former Rector of the parish.
One third of the manor of Maiden Newton was in the reign of Edward IV granted to the Abbey of Cerne, and appears to have remained in its possession until the Dissolution of the monasteries, which may account for the erection of these two beautiful crosses, both of which are probably early fifteenth century work.”