AN ancient cross found on a medieval battle site has been donated to an exhibition.

The 13th century crucifix has been donated to Durham Cathedral by Patricia Alvis, from Bideford in North Devon, and will be on display as part of their Open Treasure exhibition this summer.

It was found in the grounds of Western Lodge, which is on the site of the Battle of Neville’s Cross, between 1829 and 1868 and has been passed through the family before being given to Mrs Alvis.

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She said: “I am now 95 and was keen to give the cross a new home, I know it would have drawn interest from national institutions but felt that it would be apt to offer it to Durham Cathedral.

“I shall greatly miss this most precious object but I hope that it will be treasured with the Cathedral’s other relics in the Open Treasure exhibition.”

It is understood that the cross is made of copper and decorated with Limoges Champleve Enamel and that it was a portable altar cross, most likely used on a small altar for troops to take communion before or after battle.

Durham Cathedral’s Head of Collections, Lisa di Tommaso, said: “We are immensely grateful to Mrs Alvis and honoured that she has chosen to entrust this family heirloom to the Cathedral.

“As a piece that would have been used in battlefield prayer, it demonstrates just what an important role Christian faith played for soldiers during the likes of the Battle of Neville’s Cross in 1346."

The Open Treasure exhibition opens on July 23.