sandstone cross, decorated with blind holes, surmounting a column which rises from circular stepped base
The idea of providing Altrincham with a new market cross was proposed and organised by the Altrincham and Bowdon Civic Society to mark the 700th anniversary of the town's charter. An earlier attempt by the Court Leet to replace the lost cross had been refused by Trafford Borough Council on the grounds that it was 'out of keeping with the character of the Old Market Place.' The civic society's scheme, however, did receive the necessary approval. The history of the town's earlier crosses remains speculative but it is known that a cross stood in front of the Butter Market in the Market Place in the late seventeenth century. This cross was rebuilt in 1730. The cross, along with the Butter Market and stocks, were pulled down in 1850s to accommodate road improvements. It was supposed to have been put in safe keeping but was lost.
The new cross was designed by Don Bayliss, a member of the local civic society, who based it on surviving nineteenth-century drawings of the older market cross. The replica cross was made from a red sandstone, a common building stone in the district. The Timperley stonemasons, T. Crosby and Sons were responsible for making and installing the cross. The principal inscription was on a metal plaque fixed to the base of the column whilst the names of the various companies which contributed to the cost were carved on the stone steps. The cross was positioned on the west side of the Old Market Place where replicas of a whipping post and stocks were also erected, part of the wider scheme to strengthen the historical reference points in this conservation area. The cross was completed by the spring of 1990 though it was not until October that it was dedicated by the Bishop of Stockport.
Inscription on plaque at base of column: This replica of Altrincham's historic Market Cross / was dedicated by the / Right Reverend Frank P. Sargeant, / Bishop of Stockport, in the presence of / The Worshipful The Mayor of Trafford, / Councillor James R. Haydock, J.P. , / on the seventh day of October, / Nineteen Hundred and Ninety, in the Seven / Hundredth Year of the granting of / Altrincham's Royal Charter. / The Cross was commissioned by / ALTRINCHAM AND BOWDON CIVIC SOCIETY. The names of those who provided the funds enabling / it to be erected are inscribed on the steps below.
Base of column inscribed: ALTRINCHAM AND BOWDON CIVIC SOCIETY / J. A. LITTLER / MRS. LESLIE RYAN / D. G. BAYLISS / PRES / CHAIRMAN / HON SEC
PMSA recording information