Situation of the hamlet.
This hamlet is situated on the road to Ware, eleven miles from
London. It is one of the wards of the parish of Cheshunt, and
contains 100 houses.
The hamlet takes its name from an ancient cross, erected, as is
supposed, by Edward the First, in memory of his beloved consort
Eleanor. This cross, which is almost the only thing worthy of
notice in the place, adjoins to the Falcon Inn. The following
description of its present state is taken from the third volume of the
Monumenta Vetusta, published by the Society of Antiquaries, who
have twice interested themselves in preserving this curious remnant
of antiquity from farther decay (fn. 1) .
"The cross is hexagon; each side of the lower story divided into
two compartments, charged with the arms of England, Castile
and Leon, and Ponthieu, in shields pendant each from different
foliage. Over these compartments is a quatrefoil; and over that,
in the point of the whole, a trefoil. The pediment of each compartment is richly frosted with leaves. The spandrils of each
pediment are carved with eight-leaved flowers in lozenges, and
the pannels are parted by pursled finials divided by two niches.
The cornice over the first story is composed of various foliage
and lions' heads, surmounted by a battlement pierced with quatrefoils. The second story is formed of twelve open tabernacles, in
pairs, but so divided, that the dividing pillar intersects the middle
of the statue behind it. These tabernacles terminate in ornamented pediments, with a bouquet on the top; and the pillars that
supported them are also pursled in two stories. This story also
finishes with a cornice and battlement like the first, and supports
a third story of solid masonry, ornamented with single compartments in relief, somewhat resembling those below, and supporting
the broken shaft of a plain cross. The statues of the Queen are
crowned; her left hand holding a cordon, and her right a sceptre
or globe." An engraving of this cross was made by Vertue, at
the expence of the Society of Antiquaries, in 1721; and another, in
1792, by Basire, from a drawing of Schnebbelie's. There are several
other engravings of it.
Manor of Dacies, alias Crossbrooks.
At Waltham Cross is the site of a manor (fn. 2) , called Dacies, alias
Crossbrooks, which, as far back as I have been able to trace it, has
belonged to the fame persons as that of Theobalds. It is nevertheless
a separate manor, as may be seen by referring to the surveys (in the
Augmentation-office) made of each, in 1650. The manerial rights
were then valued at 7l. 17s. 4½d. per annum, the land at 20l.; but
stated to be very improveable. The manor is described as being
intermingled with that of Cheshunt in all parts of the parish. A
court baron is still held for it.
The survey of Theobalds manor, before mentioned, describes an
ancient spital at Waltham Cross, consisting of four rooms below and
three above, by prescription and time out of mind, appropriated for
poor lame impotent people. It is still used for the same purpose,
(being occupied by four poor widows,) and is held under the manor
of Theobalds, to which it pays a small quit-rent.
The workhouse for the parish of Cheshunt is situated at Waltham