As seen in August 2012, the ‘cross’ is an eye-catcher at the south end of South Parade; the fake inscription about 10 feet up the main shaft is weathering; there is no vestige of any twelfth-century material.
The cross was rebuilt by the corporation in 1793 by “Henry Heaton Esq. Mayor”, whose name is on the base (not seen). The cross was rebuilt from a former cross which carried (as does the present version) a memorial inscription to Otes de Tilly, steward of Conisbrough for the Warenne family. He was active around 1147 to 1190, holding knights' fees from the Lascy family in 1166; his son was called Otes too (Clay 1949). The memorial seems to be accepted as being for the father (not necessarily in his life time, but I think we could say before 1200). The inscription to Otes de Tilly, which has been recorded in slightly different forms but with the same meaning, appears to have been recut, but may well record a Romanesque original.
The cross is said to be approximately 40ft high (12.2m), but Jackson 1855 says it was 11ft 7 inches in circumference and 18ft high; Hunter says a cylindrical shaft. It is unlikely any of the original material survives; this is a late 18th-century reconstruction with not much resemblance to the original (see Comments).
British Museum website.
English Heritage listed buildings website.
C. T. Clay, Early Yorkshire Charters 8: The Honour of Warenne. Yorkshire Archaeological Society Record Series Extra 6.Leeds, 1949.
J. Hunter, South Yorkshire, Deanery of Doncaster 1. Nichols, London, Nichols1828.
John Edward Jackson, The History and Description of St George's church at Doncaster, destroyed by fire, February 28, 1853. London 1855.
W. C. Lukis, ed., The Family Memoirs of the Rev. William Stukeley 3. Surtees Society 80. 1887.
E. Miller, The History and Antiquities of Doncaster. 1804.