Banner Cross is long associated with Ecclesall Road. It is infamous for being the scene of the murder committed by Charles Peace, the notorious criminal, in 1876.
In the time of Queen Elizabeth, nearby Banner Cross Hall was known as Bannerfield, but referred to as Banner Cross in the times of James I.
There appears to be no clear account of how Banner Cross got its distinctive name. ‘Banner Cross’ seems to suggest battles and campaigns, but the most likely explanation appeared in Hunter’s Hallamshire in 1819.
“This is one of the ancient esquires’ seats in the manor of Ecclesall. It stands near the chapel, and not far from the turnpike road to Manchester, from which however it is shut in by plantations, while its front presents a pleasing feature in the landscape to the traveller on the opposite hill along the road to Chesterfield. The name might tempt an antiquary to wild conjectures, especially when he stands on the base of an old stone cross still remaining, and looks along Salter (perhaps Psalter) Lane, towards Sheffield.”
It refers to an old stone cross that once stood near the previous hall, and quite possibly the ‘Banner Cross Stone.’
In the early part of the twentieth century, William Henry Babington, a Sheffield photographer, took images of a piece of stone, and labelled it as being the ‘Base of the Banner Cross Stone, now on terrace of Banner Cross Hall. Removed from Banner Cross Hall Gardens.’
If this was the original ‘Banner Cross,’ how likely is it that the base is still at Banner Cross Hall?
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