On Saturday 10th November Martin Moss, Memorial Manager at Humphris Funerals attended the unveiling by Vice Chairman of the Parish Council, Nigel Buttler, of the new Weeping Cross in Bodicote. Martin had project managed throughout the planning and construction of the cross.
The replica, consisting of 6 steps and a round shaft with a sundial, has an inscribed bronze plaque and a capsule inserted in the cylindrical column which contains a scroll listing the names of donors and local people who have made a contribution to the project in one way or another.
The new Weeping Cross was erected after the Government asked parish councils in 2016 to give consideration to providing a landmark or other means to commemorate the 100 years since the end of the First World War. The Parish Council decided to investigate the possibility of replacing the Weeping Cross memorial in Bodicote by providing a replica, and for this purpose sought details of the original weeping cross, its history and estimated construction costs.
Fund raising began with local businesses and residents, along with a village appeal. The appeals raised nearly £4,000. This sum includes a donation of £1,000 from Banbury Historical Society, £1,000 from Banbury Charities and a promised £1,000 from the County Councillor’s Priority Fund.
The original Weeping Cross, erected in the 15th century and removed in 1803,was a place of public penance for those who had broken canonical law, implying that it was a place of grief, remorse or penance. Other known weeping crosses across the country include Stafford, Shrewsbury and Ripley in Yorkshire which is thought to have the only known surviving weeping cross; the others were removed and abolished at the time of the Reformation.
Well done to all involved in raising money and replacing part of Bodicote’s history for all to see for many years to come.