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Golden Cross Passage

History of the Shut

Once a trading place for Germans and a meeting place for Royalists.

The home of the oldest inn in the town and the sacristy of Old St.Chad's.

Did a golden cross escape from the sacristy into the Shut?

Who helped Amy create the story

This story was born on a live radio show; the Jon King afternoon show on BBC Radio Shropshire.

The shut was described to listeners visually, and then the folklore and facts already known were broadcast.

Listeners were invited to phone-in with extra information and ideas for the story.

Before the show ended Amy took the patches of information and threads of ideas and wove them into the story which follows.

on air with Jon King
The Story Of Golden Cross Passage

It was Christmas 1794. All the valuables, the gold plates and goblets that were only used for special services had been brought into the church over the walkway from the sacristy and the pride and joy of St Chads, the golden cross was mounted on the altar and all was ready for Midnight service.

As midnight struck one by one all the dignitaries, churchmen, officials and guildsmen filed into their places.

After the service they made their way out of the church. Torches and lanterns had been lit, shining their light over old St Chad's grand Christmas procession. Slowly, swaying stately, the bishops, guildmasters and bailiffs began to process across the walkway. Their feet echoed in time and it almost seemed as though the walkway echoed moved with their slow march.

As the dignitaries left, some of the priests followed after, carrying the valuables back to the sacristy. The tramp, tramp of their feet began to shake the walkway. The building began to shake and rumble, small warning landslides of dust appeared here and there. The priests broke rank and ran towards the sacristy, but the sacrister himself was at the end of the procession carrying the church's pride and joy, the golden cross.

where the walkway once stood

He struggled on after the others, but the Cross was too heavy. It bore down on his shoulders and slowed him down, but he would not leave it.

There was a terrible groan and the walkway collapsed into rubble and broken stakes. The sacrister and the cross disappeared and as the dust cleared there was still no sign of them.

The processional robes were forgotten, the dignitaries turned around and came speeding back. The men worked together to move the fallen walkway and retrieve the monk and the cross. However, search as they might, they couldn't find them.

With no body it was difficult to give the sacrister a proper funeral. The ground between the church and the shut was blessed and as there was no where to put a grave stone the passage itself was renamed the Golden Cross as a memorial for the sacrister who had died trying to save the Cross.

The two of them must still be buried there somewhere, as in the Golden Cross Hotel, in a particular room, there have been many reports of a ghostly monk gliding through the room. But you know and I know that it is not a monk, but the sacrister, still guarding the Golden Cross and keeping it safe.

copyright Amy Douglas 2001

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