Crosses in towns and villages are often of ancient date and sometimes mark the spot where the right to conduct transactions or hold a market had been granted, in which case they might be referred to as Butter Crosses. In the countryside crosses sometimes mark ancient meeting places and are often situated close to important roadways. Crosses near to or in Churchyards signify hallowed ground and a place for religious gatherings and may pre-date the church itself. The religious tensions in the past frequently led to damage or removal, and very many are now lost or incomplete.
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