Object Details

Harveys Cross

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General Information
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Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright for Photograph:

Creative Commons

Location

Street:South Downs
Town:Saltdean
Parish:Brighton
Council:Lewes District Council
County:East Sussex
Postcode:BN7
Location on Google Map
Object setting:Road or Wayside
Access is:Public
Location note:Follow the bridleway past Pickers Hill Farm up to Pickers Hill
In the AZ book:East Sussex
Page:134
Grid reference:D6
The A-Z books used are A-Z East Sussex and A-Z West Sussex (Editions 1A 2005). Geographers' A-Z Map Company Ltd. Sevenoaks.

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Makers

Name : Chris Groom
     Role:Restorer

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General Information

Commissioned by: The Harvey Family, Bedfordshire
Construction period:Originally between 1873 & 1898, completely rebuilt in 1999
Work is:Extant
Owner custodian:Harvey family
Object listing:Not listed
Description:A cross mounted on a two stepped base surmounting a stone platform. The second step is inscribed with lead letters and a second stone plaque lies in front of the cross commemorating its restoration. The whole is surrounded by a low metal railing and in front of the railing is situated An inscribed marker stone.
Inscription:On second step of the base:

JOHN HARVEY ESQ.
OF ICKWELL BURY IN THE COUNTY OF BEDFORD
DIED SUDDENLY ON THIS SPOT
ON THE 20TH DAY OF JUNE 1819.

On the commemorative plaque:

THIS PLAQUE COMMEMORATES
THE RESTORATION OF
HARVEY'S CROSS ON 20 JUNE 1999
BY THE HARVEY FAMILY TO
PERPETUATE JOHN HARVEY'S MEMORY
AND PRESERVE THE HERITAGE
OF DOWNLAND


Marker stone:

J H
1819


On the front of the bench seat, carved:

Donated by Rottingdean Windmill Walks

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Classification

Categories:Religious, Roadside / Wayside, Free Standing, Commemorative
Object type1:Cross
Subject type1:Non-figurative

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Object Parts

Part 1:Base
     Material:Stone
     Height (cm):25
     Width (cm):125
     Depth (cm):125
Part 2:Cross
     Material:Marble
     Height (cm):120
     Width (cm):65
     Depth (cm):15
Part 3:Stepped base (2)
     Material:Marble
     Height (cm):30
     Width (cm):75
     Depth (cm):50
Part 4:Bench
     Material:Stone
     Height (cm):40
     Width (cm):90
     Depth (cm):29

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Object Condition

Overall condition:Poor
Risk assessment:Immediate risk
Condition 1 of type:Surface
     Condition 1: Corrosion, deterioration
     Condition 2: Bird guano
     Condition 3: Abrasions, cracks, splits
     Condition 4: Biological growth
     Condition 5: Surface spalling, crumbling
     More details:The 1999 commemorative plaque inscription is almost completely eroded. The inscription on the cross itself is still in reasonable condition but some letters are missing.
Condition 2 of type:Structural
     Condition 1: Broken or missing parts
     Condition 2: Cracks, splits, breaks, holes
     Condition 3: Loose elements
     More details:The arms of the cross are broken off and lie on the stepped base. There are several pieces chipped off the stepped base, the cross itself and the commemorative plaque. Some of the letters of the inscription are damaged or missing - 'VEY'
Condition 3 of type:Vandalism
     Condition 1: Structural damage
     More details:The arms of the cross are broken off and lie on the stepped base. There are several pieces chipped off the stepped base, the cross itself and the commemorative plaque. Some of the letters of the inscription are damaged or missing.

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History

History:'Vandals desecrate downland monument'

Vandals took a heavy hammer to the heart of the Sussex Downs and mindlessly smashed a marble monument. One of the arms was broken off Harvey's Cross, which is on a remote track a mile and a half north of Saltdean. The vandals had tried to completely demolish the 6ft monument. It was covered in hammer marks and an attempt had been made to obliterate the black inscription. A stonemason has estimated that full restoration of the white marble monument would cost £3,000. The cross was restored in 1999 following a campaign by local historian and author Douglas d'Enno.
He is angry and disgusted vandals appeared to have targeted the remote cross for no reason. Mr d'Enno said: ''I just cannot understand why someone would carry a hammer one and a half miles into the countryside in the middle of winter to smash up a monument. ''There is nothing controversial about Harvey's Cross. The person it is dedicated to did not even live in the area, so there can be no grudge against his family. ''It is amazing someone would want to do this. It is a completely pointless attack. ''

The cross is a memorial to John Harvey of Ickwell, Bedfordshire, who died at the spot on June 20 1819. It is believed he was killed in a fall from his horse. He was colonel of the 9th Lancers and a frequent visitor to nearby Rottingdean. The father-of-five was only 48 when he died. His wealthy Bedfordshire family decided to build the monument to him, but it fell into disrepair and was used it for target practice by Canadian soldiers billeted in Rottingdean and Saltdean during the Second World War. Mr d'Enno researched the history of the monument after seeing it on maps. He and John Harvey's descendants raised £4,000 to restore the cross and a ceremony was held in June 1999 to mark its restoration.

(Brighton Argus Thursday 17th Jan 2002)

The restored cross was unveiled on 20/06/1999 by the Lord Lieutenant of Sussex, Admiral Sir Linsday Bryson KCB. Stonemason: Chris Groom, 64 Richmond Road, Brighton, Tel. 01273 699824. (Douglas D'Enno)

'The small downland monument dates from 1810 and stands on sloping ground commanding a panoramic seaward view of west Saltdean and of the undulating gorse-clad down in the vicinity of Balsdean, with its 'lost' village and modern pumping station. The stone is 1-2 miles, as the crow flies, north of Looes Barn and 2-3 miles from the sea. Overgrown to the point of being scarcely noticable from the adjacent public footpath, the memorial was known for much of the 19th century simply as 'Harvey's Stone'. The cross, though to have been made of marble and 5-6 feet in height, was erected on two plinths some time between 1873 and 1898, almost certainly on instructions from the family.
…Col. Harvey, who had friends and acquaintances in Rottingdean, was 48 years of age when he met his death. He had come down, ironically, for his health and was staying either with the vicar, Dr Thomas Redman Hooker (1792-1838) or with a Mrs Dealtry of Down House.
Col. John was an old Harrovian and a graduate of Cambridge. In 1802 he raised a militia in his village for action in the Napoleonic War. He was a family man, leaving five children, a son and four daughters.
Contemporary and later accounts differ as to how John Harvey met his death. On 21 June 1819, the Sussex Weekly Advertiser recorded that he 'fell from his horse in a fit'. Other causes mooted have been a weak heart, a heart attack and death in the heat of the chase. The rider's body was taken back to Northill, near Biggleswade for burial, accompanied by a contingent from Rottingdean. The cost was over £300 - a vast sum in those days.
In the Second World War, the troops stationed locally - the London Scottish and Hampshire Regiments and a contingent of French Canadians destroyed the cross. They also annihilated the nearby hamlet of Balsdean and Pickers Hill Cottage by way of 'target practice' after wiring off the area.'
(Douglas D'Enno, Saltdean historian)

'We are concerned to state, that on yesterday afternoon, Col. Harvey, of the 9th Lancers, was found lying dead on the Downs, nigh to a barn belonging to Mr. Saxby, of Northease, supposed to have fell from his horse in a fit'
(

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References

Source 1 :
     Title:Sussex Weekly Advertiser
     Article:3778
     Type:Newspaper
     Page:3
     Volume:LXXIII
     Publisher:Sussex Weekly Advertiser. Lewes.


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Photographs





Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons




Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons




Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons




Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons

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