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TWO STONE CROSSES & THE GRIMSTONE DOWN EARTHWORKS
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Jackman's Cross

Turning his attention to Jackman’s Cross, Alfred Pope wrote in ‘The Old Stone Crosses of Dorset’, “On Grimstone Down, which is in the parish of Stratton although part of the ancient manor of Grimstone, to the north of the Crossways leading to Cerne Abbas and Charminster, known as ‘Jackman’s’ Cross, is the socket of a cross of Portland and Ridgway stone two feet two inches square by twelve deep, with a mortise eleven inches by eight inches, into which formerly fitted a cross of wood. The upper hed [sic] of the socket is bevelled round the edge, and on one side is a cup-shaped cavity which might have been for the reception of alms. There is a tradition that a man named Jackman was hanged on this cross early in the eighteenth century for sheep-stealing, but the writer has searched through the Court Rolls which are in his possession as lord of the manor, and date back to 1640, and is unable to find any confirmation of this tradition. In 1645 the manor belonged to the Prebend of Salisbury, and in earlier times to the Abbots of Milton."


The present day Cross was commissioned by Christopher Pope, great-grandson of Alfred Pope. It was created by Andrew Grassby of Grassby (Stonemasons) of Grimstone from a piece of Purbeck Cap, a Jurassic limestone. It was Christopher Pope’s wish that the Cross be made using methods from an earlier era. Bronze chisels were struck with a small boulder covered in leather to shape the monument.

Grassby (Stonemasons) were also commissioned to provide a seat alongside the Cross which bears the words “Nothing Is Distant From God”. Below it is an inscription that reads, “This Wayside Cross is offered in celebration of the SECOND MILLENNIUM of JESUS CHRIST Our Lord on this ancient path from Abbotsbury to Cerne Abbas. It replaces an early cross of which only the foundation remains and was dedicated at millennium midnight 1999-2000 by the Rt Revd John Kirkham Bishop of Sherborne – The seat commemorates the family of Alfred Pope author of The Old Stone Crosses of Dorset which has cared for this land through six generations.”

The millennium dedication was a private event that was followed by a firework celebration. Those who attended had made their way to the Cross from The Shooting Lodge on the Wrackleford Estate.