Affetside Cross History Sunset over Winter Hill Rotary Way direction arrows Its close proximity to a Roman road (Manchester to Ribchester) has caused many to date it as  Roman in origin, and yet some date it much later. Present thinking considers it a medieval route  marker for Lancashire pilgrims on route to Whalley Abbey. Some see it as a market cross from  Jacobean or Georgian times or it may mark the point of a beacon due to its dominant position. The  theory which considers it as a market cross does not, on the surface, appear to make much sense as  Affetside has had no record of ever having a market charter (although it is recognised that many  markets did exist throughout Lancashire without a charter ever being granted). Furthermore, as a  market it would have been difficult to access in addition to being very remote and as such would  have suffered from competition from adjacent areas with greater populations. The loss of the cross head is undated and it has never been proven that it ever had one. The Cross is a listed grade II structure. The cross shaft is cut from a single piece of local gritstone, set into a  plinth of 2 stones on 2 steps. The 1st step is circular, 2.28m dia, and 0.1 m high. The second step is  1.6m dia, and 0.25m high. The shaft is of a pillar form with a square base 0.34m wide tapering to a  column 1.43m high. At 1.34m there is a collar surmounted by a bun shaped capital. Cut into the top  is a socket that probably held the cross head or stone ball. There are other pilgrims crosses in the  area, notably Holcombe Moor to the east, and at Bradshaw, (which has now been removed) and the  Pilgrims Cross theory appears to be the most plausible, as the route east to west was an old pack  horse trail and major route for the passage of goods and people. Information plaque next to Cross Cross in summer looking north Affetside Cross in the snow Information Plaque Affetside Cross Cross in winter