A time-dependent numerical study of the laminar cross-flow over a rigid cantilever plate of infinitesimal thickness is presented. Emphasis is on the temporal development of flow features in order to clarify the relevant physical mechanisms involved in the interaction of the shear layer with a bluff body and as a baseline for further studies in Fluid-Structure Interaction (FSI). A parametric study is conducted that considers a range of Reynolds numbers and geometric parameters. Results will be compared with those published in the literature for the steady-state case. Boundary layer formation and the surface shear stress distribution are of particular interest, as they relate to the separation phenomena and to the shedding of vortices from the plate. Insight into these mechanisms will aid in the understanding of Blade-Vortex Interaction (BVI) and contribute to the knowledge of flow energy harvesting.