Hoftens Cross

The Stone with the Bus Shelter and old Train route and bridge (now demolished) in the background

I lived at Hoftens Cross for 29 years since birth. I was always intrigued by the strange, large standing stone in the field for as long as I can remember, staring at it whilst waiting for the bus to primary school from the shelter next to the field in which it stands.

It is likely the stone is part of an ancient, early christian preaching cross or sculpted stone. I was told when I was younger it marked the spot of a ‘butter market’ on the cross roads of the A52. This means the cross was probably used as a marker for various activities in Medieval times through to the last century.

The pubic house opposite takes its name from The Cross. The site would always have been a busy thoroughfare through to Ashbourne for centuries.

There is an inscription ‘G’ ‘W’ on the stone (My parents are called Gary and Wendy!)

I would love to know what would be found if ever the field around the stone was excavated and what it would tell us about the inhabitants of the village through the centuries.

The truth that no one really knows why this stone stands here as it does. I think this adds to the mystery of something immensely spiritual but now long forgotten. A ritual shrouded in time. One thing is certain, the stone has stood defiant through perhaps a millennia or more of famous Cauldon low weather – the site and the stone, once was of great importance, and marked a significant place within the community.

A52 behind with the Cross Caravan and camping site

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