The Butter Cross & Plague Stone
A badly weathered cross can be found at the side of the Grange road in Biddulph in the county of Staffordshire. It is named the Butter Cross, however no-one seems to know how it has aquired its name, it may be due to the fact that milk churns were left on a platform next to the cross, if this is so the name may have come into use in more recent times.
It is known that the location of the Butter Cross was a meeting place, and a market is also known to have been held here during the Victorian era. The photograph below shows a Victorian drinking trough which would have been used presumably for the horses which would have hauled produce up the steep hill to reach the market, the left hand drinking trough is missing and presumably damaged at some time in the past.
The Victorian drinking trough can be found on the opposite side of the road to the Butter Cross. The weathering on the Butter Cross itself points to the fact that it is probably far older than Victorian times, its true name and past remains a mystery to this day.
The two photographs below are of the Astbury Plague Stone, in the unlikely setting of someone’s front garden. It can be found where Fol Hollow lane meets the A34 just outside the village of Astbury in the county of Cheshire.
The stone would have been used during the time of the plague, a person wishing to make a monetary transaction would have placed their money in the dished shaped depression on the top of the stone. This dish shaped depression would have been filled with vinegar or urine which would have acted as a natural disinfectant, thus stopping the money infecting the person receiving the payment.