The Oldham Cross probably dates to the late Anglo-Saxon period, perhaps to the middle of the 11th century. It is likely that the cross was originally sited on a pilgrim's way marking the route to a holy site or may have stood on a church or monastic site.
The cross shaft carries on its upper surface a brass plate affixed by Jonathon Peel in May 1881. This inscription gives us some information about the cross' history.
"This stone, found in the Accrington House grounds in 1847, is supposed to have formed the shaft of the cross that once stood in front of Peel fold - an ancient house formerly known as 'Oldhams' Cross' or simply 'The Cross', - which was purchased together with the adjoining lands by Robert Peele, probably about the year 1685 from his nephew Laurence Oldham. The carved stone stood in front of the family home of the Peels for between 150 and 200 years, but it was removed to the cellar after the death of Judge Peel. The estate with a long medieval history was purchased by the first Jonathon Peel (1752-1834) and the house was rebuilt by his grandson, the second Jonathon , about 1849."
The cross appears to have been pulled down around 1800 by Francis Coates, and the pedestal was then made into a trough for use by cattle.
This object is on loan from a private lender.